Somewhere on your TV band every Christmas, you will find It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. Since 1946, the story of a man ready to jump the bridge because he felt his life was a dismal failure turns out to be one of hope and joy. Its happy ending is largely due to a bumbling angel trying to earn his wings by rescuing George Bailey from the depths of depression. Then there was the TV series, Touched by an Angel, another favorite tinged with the divine.
Now imagine this scene. You are an angel who has been doing menial jobs in heaven for about two millennia. Suddenly, God calls you into his office (which is a little bit on the cozy side, taking up only three galaxies). Wings shaking in terror, and looking down at your feet because the light surrounding the great I AM is blinding, you hear a gentle voice and not the thunderous roar you dreaded.
“One of my beloved children has become very fragile. Because it is not my will to call him home at this time, I am sending you to care for him. The task will be difficult. You will need wisdom and patience. I will provide all you need, but you must trust me completely. You will leave your wings and celestial powers here and complete the task I am giving you as a mere mortal. Remember, I love this special child and am entrusting his well-being to you. Do not be afraid. Nothing will happen outside of my will.”
A thousand questions run through your mind. Why ask me, of all the angels up here? I’m the least prepared for this. But wow! God Himself is sending me on an important mission. For the first time, He trusts me to do something really special. I’m honored. Didn’t He just tell me I could trust Him? I can do this. I will do this.
So I ask you, what is the difference between the angel and us caregivers? Other than the wings and celestial powers part, hasn’t God called us to care for very fragile people that He loves? A dear friend recently passed away, but I will always remember what he said about finding God’s purpose for your life. “You can study the Bible about it and pray about it, or you can simply do what’s right under your nose.”
Doesn’t God tell us in Romans 8:28 that He works all things together for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose? If it is God’s purpose to entrust precious people to our care, will He not weave all things together so we can fulfill our calling? There may come a time when we must share our caregiving tasks with others. Sometimes, the only way some people can get safe, adequate care is in an institution or with professional home care services. That does not mean we cease to be caregivers, but what we may do may change. Instead of giving hands-on care, we are present, we love, we support, we advocate.
I do not know if you have experienced this, but when I’m the most stressed and overwhelmed, I tell God exactly what I’m thinking and feeling without holding anything back. After a while I calm down and see the situation through His eyes and not mine. It is a totally different view, and one that brings me comfort and reassurance.
Friends, God’s got this caregiving gig. Although things may not work out in ways we thought or wanted, they will work out according to His will — and you will find peace. Sometimes we just need to look out another window for a different perspective — His.
What is your greatest caregiving challenge?
Where do you find the support you need?
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