This Scripture brought comfort in my years of active caretaking for my widowed, ailing Mother. It was a long journey, that included four years in two nursing homes and there were many moments where these words strengthened me to press on. God knew what I was going through and that my faith and hope would remain unshakable. How personal, He grasped me by the hand and I could go on, even if it was only a few minutes at a time.
I am forever grateful for the gift of faith and God’s love that brought positive changes to my life. While my Mother was often rude and unkind, I tried to focus on God’s actions, not hers. I read the words of Richard Rohr, “If we don’t choose love and compassion, the human mind naturally goes in the other direction and we risk joining many people who live their later years trapped in a sense of victimhood, entitlement and bitterness.” They seemed to fit her, only too well, but in God’s grace healing would occur before she joined the Lord.
One of my best consolations, during these unsettling years came from my Mother’s aid in the nursing home. After a particularly difficult visit, where she yelled and falsely accused me, the consoling words spoken by the aid, I knew were from the Lord. Thankfully, I reacted, through tears, in love (not in kind,) but these incidents took a toll. It was necessary to accept what was and have faith God was guiding me through. No matter how close we think we have grown to God, there’s always more we can learn. Seeing from God’s perspective helped cure some of my blindness. None of this growth was instant, yet necessary for me to become who God called me to be.
I found Jesus tenderly present in the difficulties. Inviting the Lord into the broken places and cooperating with grace, the fragments of our life are put back together in positive ways. I asked the Holy Spirit to help me look beyond myself with eyes that really see. It was then I knew I was safe in God’s everlasting arms and complete in His loving presence. Where else can we go I, if not to the Lord?
Gratefully, there are other helpful Scripture verses that encouraged: “Yet I am always with You; You take hold of my right hand.” -Psalm 73:23 “My soul clings fast to You; Your right hand upholds me.” -Psalm 63:9 “Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, and uphold you with My right hand of justice.” -Isaiah 41:10
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” -John 14:27
We gain victory over fear, through trusting in God’s ever-present help, as He takes us by the hand and upholds us with His strength. Do you have a story of God’s faithfulness?