As one year comes to an end and another begins, it's customary to look back over the last year and assess all of its ins and outs. We also tend to look forward and set new goals for the upcoming year. I've been doing some reflecting on 2023 the last few days, and it's not all bad. Every year, every month, every week, and every day can present various challenges for caregivers; there's no doubt about that. But I found us in Isaiah 25 during my personal devotions this morning.
It's a prophecy being given by Isaiah, the prophet. I'm honestly not sure what it was pertaining to at the time, but I found some interesting nuggets in the reading. Isaiah starts out praising God for all He's done and for being faithful and true. That's always a good place to start because it's solid. We can continue to count on God to be there for us no matter what twists and turns our journies take.
In verse 4, Isaiah says that God has been a strength for the poor. I'd say that's me. That's us. We are poor in spirit and need God desperately, whether we are caregivers or not. He will be our strength as we realize our great need for Him. He says that God is a strength for the needy in his distress. God always steps up for us when we find ourselves in situations that highly distress us or elevate our stress. He's always got the peace, direction, wisdom, and anything else we need in the moment. Finally, in verse 4, Isaiah says that God has been a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat. Oh boy, do we, as caregivers, walk this one out. Has God been your refuge and shade this year? I have to say that He certainly has been mine! I am so thankful. It's very encouraging to look back and see how God interlaced Himself into our crazy caregiving lives, isn't it?
In verse 9, Isaiah talks about us. Yes, us! He says that God is our God. That's true. Then he says that we have waited for Him - and He will save us. He reiterates that He is the Lord. And again says we have waited for Him. Isaiah finishes off this verse with we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation. Have you waited on God this year? I have. It may not be patiently, quietly, or pretty. But I have waited on God more this year, and He has stepped in each time I needed Him. I have learned to rejoice in the saving of my soul - and I don't just mean salvation. I mean healing deep wounds. I mean healing emotional scars. I mean walking with me in living grief. He saves me day after day. How about you?
Today, as I reflect on this year and prepare for next year, I will take time to thank God for continuing on this journey with me. My heart rejoices as I realize He hasn't missed a step, a tear, or a joy along the way. I'll thank Him for His purposeful presence in my life. I'll take some time to listen for His heart as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?
Now Published in Paperback!
I finished publishing Affirmations for Caregivers last night! It contains an affirmation, a verse or two to read, and a prompt for a very short response for each day. You can download the eBook from the Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore right now and print it and and start today! The print version is also now available on Amazon! Check it out!