The Caregivers

November 24, 2012
by Anton Stander

On the first morning of our holiday in Hawaii, we hurried to the beach, eager to enjoy the surf. But as we approached the water, we noticed a group of women, each standing beside one of a number of wheelchairs, each of which was adapted in a different way to accommodate a handicapped patient. But while I felt pity for their disabled charges, I became acutely aware of just how much we owe those women. There are no special days set aside to honour them. Love has conquered every other desire but their desire to serve the helpless, and they do it daily. Their heroism is ongoing, and for many of them, lifelong.

But a "Come on! Get in! The water's lovely!" disturbed my reverie, and I plunged right in and enjoyed myself, but not as much as I had imagined I would during breakfast. The march back to the hotel was a sombre one for me. All I could think of was the lot of those caregivers: no leisurely breakfasts when duties to the patient had to be done as they were done yesterday and will be for all the tomorrows — that plus the long catalogue of all the rest of their activities.

But you say, "What about the poor handicapped patients? Should not some of our concern be directed towards them?" And my reply is, "Yes, I do care for them and pity them, but by praying for their caregivers, I am indirectly praying for them also." And when I see someone caring for a disabled person, I go to him or her and say, "I want you to know that I and many people pray for you each day, because we pray for all caregivers." I have a reminder on the bookmark of one of the devotional books that I read each day, lest I forget.

We have all our daily tasks to pursue. We have problems to solve and livings to earn. What can we do?

When the father in Scripture told Jesus of his ailing son, Jesus said, "Bring him to me." (Mark 9:19b NKJV)

And that is the solution to our usual problem of not having enough time. Take the caregivers to Jesus. If a hundred people each spent only two minutes a day taking caregivers to Jesus, imagine the blessing that He would pour out on them. And gradually, the Spirit will make plain the things to pray for. Caregivers need to be endued with strength, health, patience, long-suffering, endless hope, and freedom from mood swings and despair, to mention but a few. They and we need to look forward to the time in glory:

Isaiah 35:5-6a – Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. (NKJV)

Prayer: Great Healer of all diseases and maladies, give us grace to remember each day to pray for those who take care of our disabled friends. Ever give them all that they require to be good and perfect doers of the work You have given them. May they never forget that You, O Father, are no man's debtor and that their reward is secure. Amen.

About the author:

Anton Stander
(deceased)

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