Hallelujah and Glory to God!!! It is May 25th and my beloved has come home from rehab! Can you imagine that it was just 42 days ago that he was on his deathbed?!!!! This journey began a little over a year ago – I can hardly believe that we have spent a year on this roller coaster ride! \o/ Praise the Lord!! God has been faithful throughout. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: “I can’t imagine how caregivers make it without the Lord in their lives!”

I am going to pause from my usual status reports on John’s progress today. Instead, I would like to reach out to the caregivers who have been following this blog. I have learned to praise the Lord through the storms, but I must admit it has not always been easy! I’ve learned to praise Him through the day-to-day drudgery but that has not been easy either. I didn’t have difficulty praising the Lord through the blessings because that’s the easiest part of being a Christian and it comes naturally, doesn’t it? But what truly brings glory to our Heavenly Father? I believe God receives glory when His children trust Him and lean on Him during the storms! Their faith is powerful and they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Father loves them and is with them. Although this trial was not easy and I knew it wasn’t going to be, I knew that the Lord was at work in both John’s life and mine. I prayed that He would use me to be a testimony to my family and to those around me. I truly wanted to “come forth as gold” so others would see Christ through it all.

Did I learn anything during the past year? Indeed I did!  I learned that whatever came our way, the Lord gave His permission for it! How can God give the go ahead for John to be so sick and near death? How can a Good God do that? I know that many of you are asking that question.  In fact, my chiropractor asked me this very same thing in so many words. This gave me a wonderful opportunity to open up to him and tell him that this whole ordeal allowed us an opportunity to see God’s Goodness through the small things and His might once He was to heal John. The healing had not come yet but my faith told me that God could do anything. 

After all, we had not lost everything as Job of Scriptures did. Let’s look at Job for a moment. The Bible says in Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. Job walked in the ways of the Lord and God knew that Job would not lose faith if he were to be tested.  Let’s continue to read the account below:

Job 1:7  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 

Job 1:8  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 

Job 1:9  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 

Job 1:10  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 

Job 1:11  But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 

Job 1:12  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. 

Satan knew that God had prospered Job in all areas of his life. He also knew that God had set His hedge of protection around Job because of Job’s faithfulness. Knowing that his faith was strong, God allowed Satan to “touch” a few areas in Job’s life.  Satan touched his belongings (his cattle and camels), his servants,and then his children. But Job was faithful and he did not forsake the Lord. As you continue to read in the second chapter of Job, Satan told God that if God allowed him to attack Job’s body, Job would lose faith. God allowed this and Job’s body was afflicted with boils.  Can you imagine? Job must have had such pain but yet he was faithful. Unfortunately, his wife was not a help to him at all.  

I found it ironic that Job’s wife, his closest companion and helpmeet, would try to pull him away from his faith. I did not want to be that kind of wife.  I wanted to encourage John to turn to his faith! I love Job’s response to her!

Job 2:9  Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 

Job 2:10  But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. 

As if that weren’t enough, then came Job’s “friends.” They were there to judge Job instead of encourage him. The last thing a sick person needs is to hear negative and  discouraging words from those who are closest to him. So, Kate, what’s the point of this account? The point is this: what kind of a caregiver are you? Are you overwhelmed? Do you feel cheated of your life? Do you resent the task that the Lord has given to you? Like Job’s wife, do you say in your heart, “Curse God and die?”  Job wasn’t the only one who suffered at the loss of his children and everything of value. His wife was also affected. I believe she wanted Job to put an end to this madness so prosperity would once again return to them. In my opinion, Mrs. Job had selfish reasons behind her statement to her husband.

Instead, maybe you are like Job’s friends …you tell your patient(s) all the things they have done wrong and that they are ill because they have brought judgment upon themselves?

Rather than being like these two examples, why not be like Job? We’ve all heard of the “patience of Job” so why not pattern yourself after him and have patience with the sick one God has given you charge over? Jas 5:11  Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.  Allow the Lord to give you the strength to pull through! You’re not the one who is sick and going through the pain and suffering. However, you are the one who can help make that pain and suffering tolerable by being kind and compassionate. They are going through enough as it is – they surely don’t need a crabby and uncaring caregiver watching over them, amen? When John was on steroids, he was an entirely different person. He was mean and angry all the time. For those who know him, this is not him at all, and I understood this. However, it didn’t make the abuse any easier for me to take. It was so hard to be sweet to a man that was lashing out with cruel remarks. But this is where the grace of God works best! The Lord takes impossible situations and makes them bearable! His grace is most certainly sufficient!

Let me share this with you: God uses the same situation to speak to more than one heart -He’s economical that way 🙂 God worked through many hearts by using John’s illness.  He worked in mine – I learned how fragile life is. I learned that my days with John are numbered and I should treasure each moment. My sons saw the Hand of God at work in their father’s body and how God answered our prayers. Our sons and friends also saw the mighty hand of God and how our faith was strong in the God who created all things. I prayed with John’s doctors and nurses and they, too, saw a true miracle happening in this modern-day world. They saw that God was still alive and at work today!

Friend, the Lord also stands with you through His Holy Spirit as you are going through the trials of life. The Holy Spirit is right there and you can turn to Him with all your cares – He knows exactly what you need, when you need it. How blessed we are to have Him with us 24/7! The Old Testament saints experienced Him only at certain times but He is there always for us. (Mat_28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.)

The Son of God waits to be your Shepherd and Comforter, my friend. He waits to guide you – He waits to lead you in the path that will be for your good through the entire storm. When we try to do it our own way, there is no peace and we can’t expect the outcome to be perfect. We have to be willing to listen and respond with action! You can hear God’s word all day long but if you don’t take what you hear and apply it to your life, you will not benefit from it. How can you expect to pull a beautiful cake out of the oven if you didn’t take the time to put all the ingredients together? It’s a simple analogy but the end result is the same: something beautiful! 🙂 Take what you’ve read here today and apply it to your ministry as a caregiver. Christ told us to love one another. Treat your patient as though he or she is Jesus Christ Himself. On one of my long rides home from Charlottesville, I had the blessing to spend time on the phone with my dear friend, Vicky. I began to share with her about my time with the Lord that morning. I was so weary and I was telling the Lord about it. I heard His still small voice asking me, “Kate, if you were My caregiver, would you feel this way? Would you treat Me differently than you are treating John?” Of course I would! I would not resent caring for You, Lord! Ah, there it was … the Lord taught me that I should treat the love of my life as if he were Jesus Himself. The Lord had spoken to my heart that morning and He actually changed the way I felt! What a blessing it was to be rid of that weary burden! It gave me purpose and “Sonlight filled my being” and I once again was encouraged in the Lord.

Reader, I hope this has helped you in some way! If it has, please leave a comment and let me know. I would love to hear from you as well as pray for you.

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