Here it is, Valentine’s Day and half of February is gone.  Tonight, I must admit, I’m feeling sad. It isn’t because we’re not celebrating Valentine’s Day. I’m sad because I’m overwhelmed by everything that has been building up inside of me. I’ve tried to be strong, not only for myself but for my family as well. They have always seen their mother strong in the faith. I didn’t want them to think my Christianity was failing me – I wanted to be a good testimony. 

It’s impossible to be the perfect Christian 24/7 and I realize that.  But, my heart’s desire was always to show those around me, through my responses in the challenges I was facing, that my trust in God was steadfast.  I also didn’t want to let the Lord down by allowing others to see my faith wavering. There were times when discouragement would grip my heart.  In these dark moments, I would turn to the blessed hymns of faith and God’s precious Word to uplift my spirit! I would sing “Count Your Blessings” and read verses dealing with encouragement. It made me think of David and how he didn’t even have the Scriptures to turn to like I did, but yet, was able to fortify himself in the Lord his God.  

There were many verses that I turned to and maybe some of these will be a blessing to your heart as it has been to mine:

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Isaiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Deuteronomy 20:4 – For the LORD your God [is] he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

1 Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.   

Isaiah 40:31 – But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.

Matthew 11:28 – Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Psalms 31:24 – Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

At this point, my heart was hopeful that we were nearing the end of this journey. I couldn’t help but miss John. I was missing my best friend, his hugs, his healthy body, his presence. Life not only changed for him but it changed for me as well. This is what happens to the caregiver.  Everyone concentrates on the patient (and rightfully so) but many times the caregiver is forgotten. After all, life as we both knew it, had ceased! We weren’t going camping – we weren’t going antiquing or doing any of our favorite things. Every Wednesday night, we would normally get together with Tripp, Brenda and Russ. These three dear friends were a weekly anchor and we enjoyed the fellowship. This had not happened since December and it seemed that mostly all fellowship had ceased for me. Sure I had my sons and friends but phone calls were just not enough. I needed someone to touch, to hug and to sit down and have a conversation face to face. 

The very next day, our precious grandchildren came to visit their Pepo in rehab.  He had not seen them in a few months because there had been so much sickness in their household. John’s compromised immune system prevented them from seeing him.  This not only picked up his spirit but it did a world of good to mine as well. The Lord knew exactly what we both needed!!

I’ve often wondered: How in the world does a person get through life without the Lord? I could not have dealt with this whole ordeal without my Lord and Saviour by my side.  His precious Word encouraged me every step of the way. Even on this particular night, as I was feeling sorry for myself, my thoughts went to Christ when He stood silent before the chief priests being wrongfully accused, judged and sentenced to crucifixion!  How alone He must have felt! The loneliness I was feeling could never compare to what the Lord went through! 

When Jesus fell on His face in the garden of Gethsemane and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt:  He was not looking forward to His suffering and death, but He completely trusted the Father as to the outcome which would result from that death.  Why did Jesus have to endure the cross? He died on that cruel cross to bear the punishment for our sin.  Hebrews 12:2; Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. “During the three hours which the darkness continued, Jesus was in agony, wrestling with the powers of darkness, and suffering his Father’s displeasure against the sin of man, for which he was now making his soul an offering. Never were there three such hours since the day God created man upon the earth, never such a dark and awful scene; it was the turning point of that great affair, man’s redemption and salvation.” (Matthew Henry)  Romans 5:6-8; “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

How blessed we are as Christians today! We have the Words of God in our very hands. The early church didn’t have that privilege. The Bible had not yet been completed, nevertheless, they encouraged one another as they listened to the preaching and teaching of the Apostles and other disciples.  Thank you Lord for Your love for us!

Day 23 – Now What?

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