Verse 17 says this: I will give her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope. What's interesting is that "Achor" means pain. Caregivers are familiar with pain and loss. It doesn't matter what type of caregiving you do, there are lots of responsibilities that go with taking care of another whole person. There will be losses, good days and bad days, sorrow and joy, self-sacrifice, and pain.
But right there in the Valley of Pain, God provides a door of hope. God always has hope for us on reserve - He never runs out. Even in the longest, darkest night - He provides hope. Sometimes it appears as a small glimmer of light - but it is there even in pain. He is the God of hope - the giver of hope- the sustainer of hope. And He shares it with us.
The next part of this verse stood out to me this morning. And she shall sing there. Wow. We can sing of His love, His care, His strength, and His hope right in the midst of our mess. No matter how hopeful or how dire the circumstances, a song of hope can rise. Why is that? God sees the pain our souls are so familiar with - why a song? Maybe the answer lies in the next couple of verses.
God says He would not be known as master anymore - but as husband. I don't know what that means to you - but to me it speaks of intimacy. He doesn't just want to be our lord - He desires intimacy with us. Exodus 34:14 in the New Living Translation says He is a God who is passionate about a relationship with His people. He just wants to live with us heart-to-heart. Caregiving doesn't change His desire for us. He still loves us and longs for relationship. I love that.
Today, I will rejoice that even in the pains of caregiving, God doesn't distance Himself. He draws closer instead, He still longs for us. My meditations will be on how He desires to be close and intimate with all our ways. I will be thankful that caregiving doesn't scare Him away. I'll take comfort in the fact that He draws closer when others pull away. Will you join me?