Relying on God
Part of learning to care for a loved one with a chronic or terminal illness is relying on God.
For the person and their family that are living with a chronic illness, they need never to be ashamed to rely on the Lord God. Jehovah is their rock and fortress.
While caring for my spouse as she battled neuroendocrine carcinoid and Melanoma cancer I was also a primary caregiver for my mother and father. Mom had received a kidney transplant is the spring of 2011 at age seventy-eight. Dad was already well into his eighties with aging finally begin to catch up with him.
During this same period, my then day job was undergoing significant changes with reorganization and reductions in force. Life felt like a tsunami both overwhelming me as well as leaving many challenges in its aftermath.
I felt overwhelmed and as if I couldn’t control anything. Seemingly routine things like follow-up appointments with the kidney transplant center became major ordeals as dad was no longer able to navigate the big city traffic to get mom to her follow-up exams.
The initial surgery on my wife had a prolonged hospitalization more than thirty-five miles from home with all of the Dallas traffic between our house and her hospital room during her three-plus week stay. Soon after that, my parents had a significant power outage caused by a storm. It resulted in all frozen and refrigerated food ruining. My folks were stubborn and stayed for a week in a house without air conditioning with temperatures reaching somedays into the nineties. I couldn’t get them to stay with me or go to a hotel.
During this time all I knew to do was cry out to God. I remember telling God I can’t do this by myself. I still recall hearing his still small voice say to me, “I’m here with you. I’ll enable you to do what you need to do. I’ll give you favor in your employer’s eyes and meet your needs.”
Just weeks later my mother spent weeks in the intensive care unit. My brother was able to come from the east coast and provide the leadership needed in managing her care. My day job allowed me to work from her hospital room and at times not work just being on call. Only God could do this.
Mom died a few weeks later. Dad died thirty months after my mother’s passing. He required my near daily attention. My wife died nine months after dad went home to be with the Lord.
I can testify to the Lord God being my rock and fortress. Like me, you too can rely on God. He will walk with you each step of your journey.
Psalm 71: 3 (KJV), “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.”
What the Verse Means
God is here for us all the time. We can always go to and rely on God. The Lord God is our rock and fortress.
Pray Using Scripture
- Heavenly Father, we rely on and thank you for being here for us.
- Lord Jesus, we pray that we will continually place our confidence and trust in You.
- Thank you for being our rock and our fortress.
Responding to God’s Hope
- Are you spending time reading God’s word? Spending time with him through Bible reading is one way we live with God.
- Are you listening to sermons and Bible teaching either in person by attending church (this is recommended) or by watching on television or through live streaming of church services? If not start doing so this week. An example of live streaming would be my church whose services are available online through Prestonwood.live.
- What is your most significant concern today? Have you told God? If not, tell him now. Merely say, dear God, help me. I need your help with …
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This blog post is adapted from the forthcoming book, “Hope for the Caregiver: A Biblical Alternative” by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.