Do Not Lose Heart
13.1 My Story
My wife was excited when the eleven months of taking the prescription chemotherapy medications ended.
I was expecting her to do a happy dance and to go celebrating her accomplishment. Instead of a time of rejoicing, it became a solemn watershed. She was tired of the handful of pills she took multiple times a day and the way they controlled her life and schedule.
“Jimmie, I will never do chemo again. I know you’ll support my decision,” she said with the authority and resolve of a drill sergeant barking orders.
I looked at her. I’m sure she saw the questioning, the disappointment, the lack of understanding in my face. I knew better than to question her decision. Her mind was made up. Challenging her decision would bring her to tears. Confronting her choice would breach my commitment to her.
I prayed for God to give me wisdom before I replied. I heard myself say, “You have decided never to do chemo again. You request me to support your decision. Is that correct?”
“Don’t be so clinical. Please, do not treat me like you did the children when they were young,” she said deliberately with an attitude almost spitting each word at me.
“I’m sorry,” I apologized. “I was just restating what you said to make sure I heard you correctly.”
“You heard me. Our body isn’t made to take these treatments. You can’t imagine how horrible they are.”
I just looked at her and listened as she continued talking.
“I’m not saying I want to die today. I don’t want to die. However, I know that I have an eternity with Jesus Christ in Heaven, waiting at the end of this horrible journey. No pain, no suffering, a new body, a grand family reunion with my family and your mother (my mother was deceased, my dad would live another three months). It’s only because of the final destination that I can continue with this journey with the Melanoma Cancer. Living with cancer is hard. It’s terrible.”
13.2 Not Losing Heart
Part of caring for a person with a chronic illness is not losing heart. Your maintaining a positive attitude helps you to provide the best care. Keeping an optimistic view helps maintain our outlook from an eternal perspective.
In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 verse, God is pointing out we should view all earthly adversity in comparison with our future heavenly glory. When we do this, we should be strengthened to endure our human trials.
13.3 Bible Verse
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (KJV), “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
13.4 What the Verse Means
While our bodies (outward man) grow old and suffer from diseases, our spiritual side (inward man) is renewed daily. Too often, we only focus on the things we see in this present life. We need to also focus on the spiritual, that is the things that are not seen but given to us by God as a future promise.
We see this with our “spiritual eyes.” It takes belief. A part of faith is believing that what God has promised he will undoubtedly bring to pass. I have confidence in God’s word and promises.
13.5 Pray Using Scripture
- Heavenly Father help me to focus on You, my loved one’s final destination and never to lose heart.
- Lord Jesus, help me remember that while my loved one’s outer body is perishing, yet their inward body is being renewed daily.
- God, I realize the chronic illness my loved one is facing won’t last forever but is working in them and me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
- Lord God help me to not look at my loved one’s circumstances which are temporary but to look on the things that are not now seen, but eternal.
13.6 Responding to God’s Hope
- Lord Jesus, help me have the courage to see my loved one’s situation from their point of view.
- God in Heaven, help me to support their choices.
- Father, help me to listen to my loved one.
It is helpful to maintain our perspective toward our loved one and caregiving from an eternal perspective.
If you are not a Christian, accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior is a prerequisite to obtaining God’s peace.
Click HERE to find out how to become a Christian. You can trust Jesus Christ and become a Christian now.
This blog is from the forthcoming book, “Caregiving: Biblical Insights from a Caregiver’s Journey by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.
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