A few of my followers know that one part of our nursing home outreach is a weekly newsletter which is distributed in 8-9 different facilities in Florida and Western New York. Sunshine Newsletter is a collaboration between me, Pastor Janice Burnett and Rob Keller. Rob provides the layout and graphic design for every issue but sometimes he also submits a short article and last week’s piece was such a gem that I begged his permission to include it on my blog. I pray you will also be blessed as you think about the question that Rob must answer every day.
Can I Help You? by Rob Keller
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 NIV
“Can I help you?” – I hear this question daily because my disability is apparent. I struggle with many simple, everyday tasks. These challenges range from opening food packages to keeping my balance while walking on uneven terrain. Some things are impossible for me, no matter how hard I try. I cannot afford to be too proud to accept help because I can’t live without it. Each morning, the first thing I do is tell God how much I need His help. That prayer has never gone unanswered. God’s compassionate heart and great strength carry me through all my difficulties. I have learned to accept help with a grateful heart. I see the people who assist me each day as God’s agents and His love for me takes on flesh and bones. In the darkest days of my life, I have learned that our Lord is an ever-present help.
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9a ESV
That is amazing! God is actively looking for opportunities to strengthen you, so you don’t have to beg and plead, hoping that He will answer. All He requires is that you ask Him and trust Him to provide the help that you need. When God asks, “Can I help you?” – what will you say?
We went with her along the path Through turns and twists and more Till angels took her by the hand As we walked out on the shore
They led her to a waiting ship Then she smiled and turned to say “Don’t weep for me I hear His call - Time to come home today!”
Time to Come Home by Peter Caligiuri copyright 2021 all rights reserved
In memory of my wife’s sister Diane who we laid to rest yesterday after a year long battle with Interstitial lung disease. Over the last year Nancy spent 5 months caring for her. We flew out to California on Monday and it has been a long week for us both. Thanks for the prayers of those who follow this blog. This little verse puts in words a tiny piece of the comfort that God has given us right now. I pray it may touch someone else dealing with a season of grief.
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,for we walk by faith, not by sight.Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 ESV
Do not be surprised or discouraged that as a caregiver a lot of what you do is unseen or misunderstood. In my years as a chaplain I have gotten to know people in many different kinds of long term care settings. I have seen, prayed for and been involved with people struggling with all different types of disability. While most people are familiar with disabilities linked to wheel chairs or breathing assistance; they may not think of those unseen disabilities involved with mental or emotional illness. If you are in such a place and are dealing with a loved one who battles with depression, memory loss, dementia or other unseen issues that leave you feeling frustrated and misunderstood you are not alone. The most important thing to remember is that God sees. Our battle in caring for our loved one may be unseen but as today’s scripture reminds us; we walk by faith in an unseen God who is able to help us because He sees our heart! He will give us strength for the journey and has promised to never leave us even when no one sees what we are up against. He is still more than enough! I loved and was encouraged by this short video from Ken and Joni on how God has helped them to see how caregiving has both challenged and strengthened their trust in the Lord. Through it all God has faithful to them and He will also see you through even at those times no one else understands. He who knows every detail so much so that he has even counted every hair on our heads will bring us through! Have a blessed Saturday everybody!