Do you feel as though you are on the outside looking in? Does it seem like life is passing you by? Has caregiving taken your dreams?
What should you do when you feel as though your dream has been stolen?
The answer can be found in Hebrews 10:32-39. Read the following portion of those verses below:
“Don’t ever forget those early days…Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule… When all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew you had better things waiting for you in eternity.
Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.
For in a little while, the Coming one will come and not delay.
And a righteous person will live by faith. But I will have no pleasure in anyone who turns away.
But we are not like those who turn their backs on God and seal their fate. We have faith…”
Part of verse 32 tells us to “remember”. This makes me think of Revelation 3:3. In verse 3 of Revelation chapter 3, we learn how to revive ourselves. It says, “Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly and turn to me again.”
Go back to what you believed.
How can you go back to the first days, of caregiving, when you had a little bit more energy and hope? Perhaps when you first found out you would be a caregiver, you were depressed or exhausted. The beginning stages of caregiving might have found you in better physical and mental health than you are in now.
Being a caregiver of a parent with Cancer, a spouse with Alzheimer’s, or taking care of special needs child for the rest of your life can crush your dreams of a happy life. As the days drag on, hopelessness, loneliness, and resentment may set in.
John tells us in Revelation 3:3 to go back to what we believed. If you once had faith and hope, go back to these things. Likewise, the verses in Hebrews 10:32-39 tell us to:
~Do not forget the early days.
~Remember how you were faithful long ago.
~Know that even if your dreams were stolen, you have better things waiting in eternity.
~Continue to do God’s will.
~Live by faith.
~Do not turn your back on God and seal your fate for all eternity.
Practical steps to help you patiently endure:
What are some practical steps you can take to help you patiently endure?
1. Read the chapter that immediately follows Hebrews 10. The entirety of Hebrews 11 is about faith. Next, peak ahead to the verse that comes after the 11th chapter of Hebrews.
Hebrews 12:1 tells us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. That one statement should help you know that you are not alone. There are people in Heaven cheering for you and angels are cheering for you. So, strip off the weight of feeling alone. You are not alone.
2. Dig deeper into the scriptures. The illustration in Hebrews 12:1 referred to the Olympic Games during Bible times. In ancient Olympic Games, the athletes wore flowing robes.
Before the event, competitors would take off their robes because if they competed with their robes they would be entangled. Keeping on the burden of the robe would have meant the athletes would have lost the race and the prize. Likewise, you can strip off the burden of feeling isolated and frustrated with caregiving.
Strip off the burdens, but do not throw away your confidence.
Why should you strip off the robe of burdens, but not throw away your confidence in God?
Too many times we look at the world and wonder why we cannot have our dreams fulfilled the way others have their dreams come true. Staring at the world, instead of gazing at God is too big of a burden for anyone.
God is cheering for you and He wants you to win the race and gain the prize. He loves you and wants to reward you for a job well done. Keep your eyes fixed on God and not on the things you missed in life.
If you are fixated on the life that other people have and comparing it to the life you wish you had, you will never have any lasting peace in this lifetime. James 4:4 tells us what happens when we are consumed by the life we wish we could attain:
“You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with this world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy this world, you can’t be a friend of God.”
When we breathe our last breath, do we want to be known as people who were preoccupied with worldly goals and dreams? Or, do we want to be known as friends of God?
The goals people are attaining in this life are all that preoccupied people will ever have. When they die, they will not have a Heavenly reward. They have already received their reward on earth (which is fleeting and momentary). We want a reward that will be eternal, one that will last more than a mere 70 or 80 years. Friendship with God is the ultimate goal and prize.
Caregiver, I hope that some of the verses I quoted, from the NLT, have helped you to realize the value of your caregiving. It goes without saying that if you are being physically abused, you need to get out of that living environment immediately. Find a respite organization or special needs home for the person you are caring for.
However, if you are just needing a simple jolt of love from your Heavenly Father today then please consider reading the above portions of scripture many times. Read them until the truths of God’s Word are deeply engraved in your mind-
- You are loved.
- You are not forgotten by God.
- Saints who have gone to Heaven before you are cheering for you.
- Angels are cheering for you.
- God is cheering for you.
- You will be rewarded.
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