WHERE TO GO NEXT?
The book of the Prophet Jeremiah, written during a period of exile and turmoil tries to guide us to where God best wants to lead us. Perhaps we are confused and worried about the future and how today’s decisions affect tomorrow. The best answer is prayer. Only God’s direction can provide guidance on what choices are best for those I caretake and myself.
We find our encouragement in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” God is willing to guide as we ask and seek His foresight and instruction. This requires quiet time to listen to our inner voice and let the Spirit fill us with wisdom, revealing our daily steps. As we are all aware, it’s so easy to become discouraged and a constant battle to stay optimistic. Fear can be an unwelcome companion that sneaks up when we least realize. God longs to bless us and supporting ourselves with prayer, empowers us with many resources.
Our prayer also shows faith in God and we ask the Lord to help us to believe that what is unfolding is for our highest and best. When we are confused and struggling, it’s easy to let our situation cause us to doubt, but prayer will provide us with comfort and peace. When reading and praying the Psalms, I am reminded repeatedly that God’s mercy goes before me, encouraging me to trust each day. All around me God’s light and love surround. Knowing that God’s loving mercy and kindness never fails, I can face tomorrow regardless of confusion and uncertainties.
Another resource, spiritual reading can embolden our hope. Noted spiritual writer, Henri J.M. Nouwen says, “Hope means to keep living amid desperation and to keep humming in the darkness.” Prayer and Scripture enable us to look to hope for all our futures. Caregiving means we rarely have satisfactory answers about what to do or where to go next. It can be admitting that sometimes our fears seem to get the best of us, but we are not alone, our God holds and comforts us, no matter how uncertain or scared we are. It is more than okay to acknowledge our limitations and ask for help. When possible, learning to delegate is not only wise, but in the long run, can benefit everyone.
To be a caretaker requires much physically, emotionally and spiritually. We need to validate ourselves and continue ongoing self-care. Perhaps it is not about what we “do,” but our presence that makes the difference, as we are reminded by Henri J.M. Nouwen, who wrote in his book, Out of Solitude, “The one who cares makes it clear that whatever happens in the external world, being present to each other is what really matters. In fact, it matters more than pain, illness or even death.” Have you tried to find comfort communicating with God? Comments welcome.