Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Bible Caregivers

 

Aunt Polly and me in the car

As the year draws to an end and I start setting new goals for the upcoming year, I spent time this morning praying and thinking about this blog in particular. I feel like I have failed you, my fellow caregivers, by not being more consistent in posting. That's one thing on my list - to post consistently! I'm working on a time each week where I can set down with coffee or tea in hand and write a week's worth at a time. I prefer writing them every morning, but logistically that doesn't always work out. :-) 

So, I was thinking about taking topics and expanding them out. That led me down a series of thoughts about the caregivers in the Bible. While I've just started compiling a list I came up with these few off the top of my head:

  • Abraham and Isaac
  • David and Mephibosheth
  • Hagar and Ishmael
  • Joseph and his dad and brothers
I thought, man, those are some great ones to start with! These are some of our favorite Bible heroes, but we don't often think of them as "caregivers," do we? Yet each of them cared for another person in one way or another. Maybe their situations were very different than ours. But then, each of our situations is very different anyway! Some of us care for aging parents, but I have many caregiver friends who care for special needs children and special needs adults.

Any way you slice it, caregiving isn't an easy task. There are so many emotions involved from any angle. When we care for parents or other elderly family members there's a role reversal that takes an emotional toll. Caring for adult children who are "supposed" to grow up and move out has a totally different weight. And caring for a child with disabilities has emotional challenges of a totally different nature. So we can look at each of the caregivers in the Bible and glean something from their experiences, right?

Abraham laid his son (promise, future, hope) on the altar. That'll preach. Hagar was distraught worrying about Ishmael's survival. We have likely each faced this emotional challenge on one level or another as we've advocated on their behalf. Joseph sent for his dad and family and provided for them during a difficult famine. And David had Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son who has disabled, come to his palace so he could care for him. I'm sure he provided staff to take care of Mephibosheth, but nonetheless, Mephibosheth lived in the palace under David's protective hand.

Each of these characters shows us a picture of strength, faith, courage, hope, and trust in God. Those are things we can hold on to and use to encourage ourselves as we face difficult and not-quite-as-difficult days. One thing we can be sure of is that God is the caregiver for us all. That's foundational - and worth building on.

Today, I will meditate on God's care for my soul. I will think about these caregivers (and others) from the Bible and consider how they each leaned on God for their soul's survival. I'll lean my heart a little closer to His today as I trust Him for direction for myself and my caregivee. Will you join me?

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