Slow Down and Know God
Part of learning to care for a person with a chronic illness is slowing down and knowing God. As we live with the daily challenges of caring for a person with an ongoing disease, it is essential that we get adequate rest.
This respite is both physical and spiritual. Today’s Scripture tells us to slow down, that is to be still and know I am God.
I had been up for thirty-three consecutive hours. My marathon of being up began on Tuesday when I had awakened at 5 PM. I had gotten up, checked on my spouse, showered and went to Starbucks at 6 AM for my morning writing. From writing, I had headed to the local climate controlled shopping mall where I did my morning walk. Following the walk, I had an appointment with the dermatologist.
I returned home just before lunchtime. I again checked on my wife. She was in her recliner. She said her head was hurting, and she had been trying to call her doctor and me.
Her neurologist had reduced her steroids dramatically. When the steroids had previously been cut, she had felt bad, so the doctor increased the dosage to former levels. Miss Benita assumed this is all that was needed.
His time she couldn’t figure out how to use her cell phone. I called the neurologist office. They increased the dosage. My wife took the increased medications and went to sleep. I had checked on her every twenty minutes all afternoon. She did not wake up until after 8 PM.
When she awoke, she didn’t know who I was. She couldn’t tell me what day or month with was. When I asked if she knew the time she answered “blue?”
We headed for the emergency room at the hospital where only four months earlier she had a brain tumor removed.
I was up all night. My three children took shifts being with me. Around 9 AM on Wednesday the doctor told me the brain tumor had recurred. He said another surgery would only add a few weeks to maybe two months maximum to my sweetie’s life. He said your options are surgery or hospice. With hospice, you have days to weeks at best.
Miss Benita and I had spoken on what to do if the brain tumor recurred. I followed her wishes and chose hospice. I called my children, my brother, her sisters, my minister, and my best friend informing them of the situation.
The next step was to move her from the intensive care unit to an intermediate care unit where they worked on stabilizing her and helping her regain her faculties. It wasn’t until late in the days was moved from ICU. During this time my oldest son arrived on the scene. My best friend was there with me as well.
I was the next morning before the massive amount of drugs took hold and had her where she was conscious. I shared with her what was happening.
I still remember her response. She said, “I knew the Melanoma was going to kill me. I just didn’t realize it as going to be today or in the next few days. I really thought I would make it to the end of the year. I hope I live long enough to see Jason (our son) graduate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in May. Thank you for not letting them cut on me. Thank you for loving me enough to let me go by honoring my wishes.”
I was nearly noon on Wednesday before I somehow managed to drive home. Instead of sleeping I prepared the house for the arrival of my wife’s sisters who were coming in from out of state. I had my sons schedule to shuttle them from the airport to the hospital.
It was around one-thirty on Wednesday afternoon before I tried to sleep. I slept less than ninety minutes before waking up and returning to the hospital.
When I got back to the hospital my oldest son and best friend lectured me on the need for rest. I went home around 7 PM that evening and cried out to God. I hurt. I was exhausted. I remember having today’s verse come to mind, “Be still and know that I am God …”
I got in med and started recalling Bible verse after Bible verse. I had worked with the children in my church for nearly two decades in a program called “Bible Drill.” The program’s purpose was Scripture memory. I had memorized the same verses as they had. Those verses came to memory, calmed my spirit, and helped me to sleep.
I also was listening to spiritual songs that praised God. The songs calmed my nerves and spirit. I had to slow down enough to experience God’s presence.
Psalm 46:10 (KJV), ” Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
What the Verse Means
Part of learning to care for a person with a chronic illness is learning to slow down.
Pray Using Scripture
- Heavenly Father help me to be still and know you more intimately, and to feel your presence.
- Lord Jesus, please help me to slow down and even stop when necessary to get to know God.
- I pray that I would find rest in the adequacy of God.
Responding to God’s Hope
- Are you getting enough rest? You cannot care for someone twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. You need assistance.
- Are you slowing down where you can hear God and feel his presence?
- Ask God to help you rest, have the help you need, and to experience his presence.
Photo Source: Pixaby
This blog post is adapted from the forthcoming book, “Caregiving: A Biblical Alternative” by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.