This morning, I started reading through the New Testament. I'm certain I can read the entire NT between now and the end of the year. I read the Bible a lot, but I haven't just read it through in a while. Now is as good a time as any to start. I only made it through the first four chapters and into the Sermon on the Mount in chapter 5 before my thoughts ran away with me.
Jesus starts His first public address with what we've called The Beatitudes. He mentions eight "heart conditions" that are blessed. I found us in verse 4. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. In the Greek, mourn means to mourn or grieve. There's no doubt that caregivers deal with grief on numerous levels, and many endure what is called living grief. We often mourn over the loss of a person who is still here with us.
Caregivers can also grieve in other ways. Sometimes, grief over life-related losses such as a social life, a job, or other norms can be overwhelming. Many of us have lost what we thought were close relationships when we began our caregiving journeys. Losses are unique to the caregiver, but we all have them.
As I read these few verses over and over this morning, I realized they all had to do with the heart. None of them pertain to social standing, socioeconomic standings, leadership capabilities, church positions, or anything else we often use to measure "success." They all come from the heart. And here's where God meets us. When we mourn (and as caregivers, we will mourn), He will comfort us. This may mean that we see God in a totally different way than we could have ever fathomed BC. (Before Caregiving.)
While the world tends to shun or ignore us because they largely don't get us, God pulls us close to comfort us and soothe our souls. Many reject us because they can't handle our grief. We all need friends like Job had who came and just sat with him and grieved for an entire week. They just sat there, saying absolutely nothing. Then, like the religious bigots we know - they turned on him, and accusations rolled. I'm sorry to say that many caregivers go through similar scenarios, usually with their families.
But God gets us. So much that it was the second mention in the Sermon on the Mount. This bears out the truth mentioned in the OT, that God moves closer to the brokenhearted. (Psalm 34:18) Actually, when Jesus read from the OT scriptures in Luke 4:18, He was declaring that He was sent to heal the brokenhearted. He comforts and heals us even though life is going to wound us over and over again.
Today, I'll remind myself that it is okay to grieve. It's a natural part of the caregiving journey. But I'll also remind myself that God is moving closer to me in those moments just for the purpose of bringing comfort in the pain. His eye is on us, and nothing escapes His notice, whether it is joy, pain, sadness, or growth. He is along for the ride and the best companion for our journey. I will remind myself that He is in my right here, right now, so I can trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?