Christ in the Heart of a Caregiver

Today marks our fifty-sixth anniversary. If you knew how we started, and what we had to work through, you would wonder how we made it this far. Had it not been for the Lord Jesus Christ, I would not be here, and being a servant to my husband would not have been an option. During this last valley we have been going through, the question has been asked, “If you knew what you know now, would you have married Jerry?”

I was honest in answering, “No, I don’t think I would.” My vision of marriage was like most other twenty-two-year-olds. He was the man I wanted to spend my whole life with, but no thoughts of ill health for either of us was in my mind. I was selfish then, and had I known, I would not have committed to such a marriage that would require being a servant for the rest of my life.

The True Meaning of Life
Years of learning the true meaning of life brought me through different stages of serving others, then to the point eleven years ago, with his amputation, to the reality that I would be Jerry’s caregiver for the remainder of his life.

It was before then that the Lord changed my heart and my life, so that I would be willing and ready to give my life to serve Jerry, “as unto the Lord.”

Unless the Lord brought me to this place, I would never have known the joy of being His servant.

With this said, I want to share how our Lord Jesus Christ dwells in my heart, strengthens and supplies all our needs “according to His riches in glory.”

Promises From God’s Word
References are from Colossians 1:27; Ephesians 3:16-17; and Colossians 1:11.

“To them (His saints, His people) God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

This is the means of our hope ~ Christ living within, in whom is all our hope for now and for eternity.

“that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—…” Ephesians 3:16-17

This is my life. Two main areas of service are Jerry, first, and then, Home. Everything else falls into the category of Other.

Christ is the center of all, shouldering all for me that Jerry needs.  He is our strength and shield.

Under the Almighty arms of Jesus are all we need for the care of our home. And according to His will working in us, we are enabled to care for the other things. Some of these may be ongoing; others may be on the spur of the moment. Except for posts on this blog, writing was put on hold this year. According to His will, and in His timing we will continue publishing our books.

When asked, “How do you do what you do, joyfully?”  ~ Joy and praise are part of a life of thanksgiving for all that Christ has done for us. Sacrifice for Jerry and others is the only reasonable response.

Gracious Father, thank you for this opportunity to witness of your grace in a world that seeks its own desires. We praise you for choosing the role of servant and caregiver for me and making it a joyful experience. Thank you for the fruitful years that you have provided for Jerry, for me and our family. We praise you for your continued wisdom, strength and grace for the days ahead. We never know where you will lead us, but we are assured of your presence, even as you have always dealt bountifully with me. Thank you for Christ, your Son, who lives within us, and in whom we live, as we dwell in the secret place of the most high, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty. Keep me humble in HimIn Jesus’ name we thank you and praise you. Amen,

images: Google

Every Good and Perfect Gift

 il_570xN.419352322_i603“Coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning.”

Wrapped in the gift of life are many other gifts that we ordinarily take for granted. If we think only of what we can hold in our hands we miss the best gifts.

Blessings of the Father came this morning with the realization that I can still breathe, hear, and see, taste and smell, reach out and touch, and experience a touch from something and someone else.

These are good gifts in themselves, needed for this life. Every gift is from God our creator. They all come as a package. With these gifts come other gifts that He has prepared for those who love Him; and these are the perfect gifts, needed for another life, a life that is eternal.

The gifts the heavenly Father gives to His children are irrevocable and non-returnable. They come within a covenant that describes the gifts and with instructions for how to use them. These are the precious and perfect gifts that are treasured now and always. We live in awe of His giving such gifts to the children of men; and to us personally.

In his book Heaven Opened ~ The Riches of God’s Covenant, Richard Alleine speaks of a covenant of grace beyond what man can imagine, one that only God, the Father, can reveal. These include God’s giving us Himself, Christ, His Holy Spirit. His kingdom, the earth, the angels of light, with all the means of salvation and much more.

The Father who knew us before the foundation of the world, created us to be noble vessels, earthen vessels that would receive His gifts graciously, reverently, spontaneously, and thankfully; and use them accordingly.

The Greatest Gift
The greatest gift to all mankind is love. This is the gift we desire from others, also. Everybody loves something. In order to know what and how to love we need other gifts, especially the gift of wisdom that James speaks of in the first chapter of his letter. God gave the ordinary good gifts to be used in experiencing a relationship with Him and others. With the gift of His wisdom our senses are trained, as He wants them to be used.

Solomon in Proverbs 1:7 said that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God is also a perfect gift from above, coming down from the Father of lights. Light is a gift. It was the first gift, spoken by God at the beginning of creation. He is the father of all light, both physical and spiritual. Revelation of Himself comes with this light, so that in awe and fear we hear His voice, see Him, and know Him as God Almighty, the creator and sustainer of the universe. In our encounter with this spiritual light there is a judgment of our condition as a sinner before Him. This light is revealed as Jesus Christ, His Son, and by the gift of His Holy Spirit we are drawn to Him. In this instance we are given the gifts of a new heart and a new spirit. These are His means of communicating this new life with the fear and wisdom that we need.

By the gift of His grace, and in His kindness and goodness, He instills the gift of faith in the new heart and brings us in repentance to receive the gifts of justification, righteousness, forgiveness, redemption, with all the atoning factors of a Father’s love. In our adoption, all other gifts that are ours in Christ are revealed and distributed, as He wants to give. There is nothing lacking for a child of His.

 “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all,
how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

Romans 8:32

The Storehouse of All Gifts
In Jesus Christ, the Son, is the storehouse of all His gifts. He has made Him to be to us and for us all things, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. He is the gift of eternal life to all who receive Him.

“That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love,
to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding
and the knowledge of God’s mystery, 
which is Christ,
in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Colossians 2:2-3

Throughout this life we have the continual blessing of the gifts that are waiting for us to discover. Every day is a new revelation of His gifts to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord. There is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, temperance, His holiness, His righteousness, His truth, His humility, His fullness, the fullness of His Spirit, the fullness of Christ, who, in us is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27) and all the heavenly gifts that are prepared for us there.

Dear Father, take these good gifts, the gifts that you have given us, that we may see, hear, and receive the greatest gift of your love in Jesus Christ, your Son, with all the other gifts wrapped in Him. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Image