We’ve covered a great deal of information this week, ranging from our walk with the Lord, that MUST be a priority, to very practical ways of being a good steward of God’s blessings. Today I want you to consider your social life. You are probably thinking, “WHAT social life!?” That is exactly my point.
Your role as a caregiver is one of ministry. As anyone who has walked this road ahead of you will share, a you can, and likely will, get to a point where it feels you have absolutely nothing left to give. Hopefully your reasons for being here are because the Lord has called you into this position. Where the Lord calls, He also equips.
Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
There are various means the Lord may use to refill you with what you need to do His work. Ultimately it is HE who equips us, but we may receive that strength through reading His Word, through prayer, or by listening to teaching about His character. Another way He performs this work in us is through godly friendships.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25
I feel it is very important that you make time to get together with some of your brothers or sisters in Christ. Allow others to invest IN you so that you will be able to continue to minister to others. Praying together, reading God’s Word, or simply enjoying each others company for a brief amount of time so you can get a reprieve are all possible ideas. If you cannot get away to meet with them, have them come to you. It is important that you do this on a regular basis, whether it be your spouse, one of your adult children, a sibling, or just a friend that you trust to hold you accountable and lift you up in Christ.
I mentioned earlier how important it is to share the responsibility of caring for this loved one with another person. Do your best to take some time to nurture the relationships you have with those you love. If you have children, make a point to see them, especially if they are young and are missing the time you normally invest in them. Get away with your spouse, overnight if possible. You might not be able to share time together often, but do not neglect it. Not only is it important for you, it is important for them. They miss you as much as you miss them.
Tunnel vision can happen all to easily during times of stressful ministry. You may even be tempted to feel like a martyr, that you are doing it all yourself, that you are completely alone. Sometimes we “have not because we ask not.” ASK a friend to come visit you, to meet you for coffee, or out for dinner.
If you are reading this and you have a friend or loved one in a caregiving role, reach out to them. Don’t wait for them to ask because they may be so overwhelmed that they won’t. It’s time to put the needs of someone else ahead of your own.
Tomorrow will be the final day of this series. I will touch on several aspects of how we can maintain our emotional well being as we are in the role of caregiver.