Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hallelujah Hallelujah"1 (Lyrics)
James 3:17 – But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (NIV)
Caregivers are some of the most undervalued people that we can ever encounter. Over the past twenty-five years, I've seen many caregivers who look after their spouses, their parents, or their special needs children, and I have marvelled at their patience, their commitment, and their love. I know that sometimes, they feel worn down and in need of care for themselves. I'm also aware that some of them don't feel appreciated by those to whom they give all of their time, energy, and love.
Most caregivers experience a lot of stress, especially those who look after elderly parents. Age does not come on its own at times, and where disability or dementia is evident, the caregiver usually bears the brunt of their loved one's frustration, bitterness, and hostility.
When I read today's verse, it made me think about the many caregivers that I know who try to be peace-loving, submissive, considerate, and full of mercy. Their service to the person who needs care is remarkable; their dedication to a complaining loved one is courageous. If ever Jesus could have added another beatitude to His Sermon on the Mount, it should have been this one: Blessed are the caregivers, for they also will be given care.
Churches are good places where caregivers can find friends who support them, other members who pray for them, and compassionate people who love them. A good congregation knows who the caregivers are in their church; a loving congregation continues to offer caregivers support, respite, and above all, sincere affection and encouragement to sustain them.
Questions for personal reflection:
Who are the caregivers in my family and congregation? How can I support them effectively and sincerely?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today, we pray for the caregivers in our community who sometimes feel isolated and forgotten, overwhelmed and anxious. Bless them, encourage them, strengthen them, and give peace to them in the midst of their burdens and pressures. Keep them close to Your heart, and enable us to give care to them when they need it most and expect it the least. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.
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A super reminder John and so true.
Thanks, John. Another insightful devotional.
Thank you John, I am a chaplain at a continuing care community. Your words are very helpful and I will share the devotional with others.
Thank you. As a person who works in this field and is making head ways with Church and Community you word is encouraging. It is becoming more and more challenging to work with less and Church plays a big role in bridging and gap and providing support. God bless you.
Thank you for this meaningful and timely devotion. I am preparing devotions for a service in our local nursing home and I definitely need to focus on the caregivers as well. Thanks for this excellent reminder. Very nice devotion.
May God continue to bless you as you write these inspiring messages.
Dear Pastor John, so good to see your little message; God bless. Always look forward to your missives. The one today hits particularly hard; many in my extended family have severe problems and it is almost overwhelming for those giving aid.
Great to hear from you!
Thank you for your understanding devotional John. I looked after my parents for over twenty years. I didn’t realize that it was that long until a friend reminded me. The Lord does grant the patience and wisdom needed for the tasks that He gives us to do. May the Lord richly bless you.
THANK YOU, John and THANK YOU again! Some days, this is exactly what I need to hear. You are OH SO correct in your assessment of what we do and how we feel at times. And thank you for remembering thru prayer the many of us who do this work. I could not do this for as long as I have without daily support and blessings from my Heavenly Father. But some days, I do feel overwhelmed and even frustrated and impatient, but it is not long lasting before I am back on my feet again, doing what I have been called to do. So THANK YOU!
Good Morning Rev. Stuart:
A fine message alerting our minds to the fact that caregivers, also, become weary, tired and worn down and need to be cared for.
I can remember how tired my dear mother-in-law often looked after caring for others, who would stay with her while they recovered from surgery.
I am so glad I was there for her and assisted her in any way I could and your message today made me aware of the fact that there are many folks around me who are constant care givers, needing my support and words of encouragement along with a casserole or two.
A wake up call for many, I’m sure.
Thank you John. Blessings.
Thank you, John. This will give every caregiver who reads your Devotional a real lift.
I would like to attend your church. Do you speak with a Scottish accent with which I am very familiar, or with a Southern flavour?
Thank you for your devotional, it came at the most appropriate time. I, too, am a caregiver, not only for my husband, but my mother as well. God bless you, as I know that you are a caregiver yourself.