Monday, June 30, 2008

He Cares For You

Several days ago I was at a diagnostic clinic having blood work done. Across the hall I could hear a child screaming. I then saw the toddler run out of the room, still crying and looking very frightened. He had probably had this procedure done before and knew what was coming. I felt so sorry for the little fellow because I knew he couldn't possibly understand the reason for the pain that was being inflicted on him.

Later I thought about my mother after she suffered a severe stroke. I had such a wonderful mother, who was so kind and loving throughout her life. After the stroke my husband and I both wanted to keep her in our home even though the other members of the family felt it would be too much for us because my mother had to be turned every few hours, day and night. But we wanted to give it a try. God miraculously equipped us to care for her until the end of her life. She lived about four more months.

One day we were changing mother's bed sheets and it was evident that this was bringing discomfort to her. At one point she looked up at me and with pleading eyes, said, "What did I do to deserve this?" It just about broke my heart. I loved her so much and would never bring unnecessary pain to her. I tried to explain why I needed to change the sheet and knew I had to complete the task, even though she didn't really understand. Just like the little boy that was crying and afraid didn't understand.

When suffering and adversity come to us, we are tempted to look up and say, "Oh, God, Why? Why? What did I do to deserve this?" And yet the pain continues. If we could see the complete picture as God sees, we would then understand His plan and purpose. We would see that something of eternal value is being done through the pain and struggle. But in our limited knowledge and small frame of reference we cannot possibly understand and what seems to us a silence from heaven is actually a time when heaven is very near. How sweet is His promise, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5) He is there all the time.
God made this so clear to me when I was reaching out to meet the needs of my precious mother.

Sweet is the promise, "I will not forget thee,"
Nothing can molest or turn my soul away;
E'en though the night be dark within the valley,
Just beyond is shining an eternal day.

Trusting the promise, "I will not forget thee,"
Onward I will go with songs of joy and love,
Though earth despise me,
Though my friends forsake me,
I shall be remembered in my home above.

When at the golden portals I am standing,
All my tribulations, all my sorrows past;
How sweet to hear the blessed proclamation,
"Enter, faithful servant, welcome home at last."

I will not forget thee or leave thee,
In My hands I'll hold thee,
In My arms I'll fold thee,
I will not forget thee or leave thee;
I am thy Redeemer, I will care for thee.
Charles H. Gabriel
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.
Isaiah 49:15,16


Plant Lady said...

It is for me! I have asked the same questions as I cared for my mama. She had a stroke and it was very hard for me in the beginning. She was such a different person and I was feeling "tied down" as me and my daddy cared for her. I would cry out to God, because I had to be responsible for such an important task. The longer I waited on her, bathed her, and did all the medical procedures that she required at home, it became a blessing to me. During her illness, I came to know my mama in a way that I never would have otherwise. My selfish thoughts were changed into precious acts of Love that I shared with my mama. I treasure all the times I spent caring for my mother. I would not trade them for all the "freedom" I thought I wanted.

Surrendering to the task that God put before me was the best thing I every did! It was where He wanted me - ministering to my mama's need while He was ministering to me!

Yes, Mary, this post is for me today!

Have a blessed and happy anniversary!

Plant Lady

Paula (SweetPea) said...

It was me! It was me! Mary, it was for me...oh and I see it was for Plant Lady also. But, I know it was for me! I NEVER tire from hearing such a message. I take such comfort in God reminding me through His children that He has not forsaken me and He DOES have a grander plan for me. I know it is so hard for me to see the infinite plan through God's eyes. How can I? How can any of us? We are not God and we cannot see what the purpose of our temporal pain is. We can only trust that indeed there IS a purpose. THAT is the only thing that keeps my engine runnin'...knowing through all this pain, He will make good of it (Rom. 8:28). My heart says He will make good of it eventually has I have felt Him say. But even then, I know no matter what, He will make it all good. It is for now, VERY hard at times, like today when I wonder why am I even here? How much longer Lord? Why have I not sold my house? Why do a still so deeply long for this man and his love? Why so I so deeply feel You will restore a dead marriage as you did a dead man? Is it You Lord or my flesh?

I'm tired of the roller coaster ride and I fully admit I want OFF! However, I keep that belt tightened and hang on for dear life knowing that at the end of the rough ride...HE will be there...Jesus will embrace me. Well, rather, I know He is in the seat next to me encouraging me not to vomit, not to jump out, not to give up.
You are a blessing, Mary.

Happy Anniversary. You are very blessed indeed.

SKY4KAT said...

Thank you Mary,
Also thank you Plant lady and Paula. Sometimes (a lot of the time) I feel that God must not care for me of love me-lies of the enemy. he will try to find the tiniest of tiny cracks to push through and start the lies running in my head. I have learned to recognize most of the familiar ones and the truth that I am learning to embrace are my armor against they other ones.
Thank you for your story, thank you for the reminder and encouragement of the endless love that our savior has for us. Thank you for the words that encouraged me this morning.
Blessings to you and Plantlady and Paula and to all of us who need to be reminded minute by minute.

SKY4KAT said...

I forgot to say.

Marilyn said...

And it was for me! I have just been thinking about my Daddy a lot this past about 6 weeks it will have been one year since he passed away. It was indeed a blessing to be able to help take care of him up to the end. He was such a good patient! I miss him but would never ask for him to be back in his frail body when I know he's walking the streets of gold!

And Happy Anniversary! Congratulations!

May God continue to bless you!
Marilyn in MS

Sheryl said...

Oh Mary, it is for me!! And you know it. I am asking God "why", but I do know that I don't see the whole picture and I'm so glad that His plans are perfect.

Your mom was so blessed to have you care for her. What an amazing gift you were able to give her.

And..HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! Hope it's a wonderful day.

Love you Mary,

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I wonder now, years down the road, what God taught you through your mother's pain. What is the eternal value for you? She may have closed her eyes on this earth not knowing or believing in the purpose behind the pain, but I bet that you reaped some eternal benefits.

"A time when heaven is near..."

I love that phrase. I believe it is true. I have witnessed the passing of two precious friends this year to cancer. I was able to be with them on the eve of their deaths. I do believe that through all of our tears, heaven was near and ready to receive my sisters.

Anyway, hearty congrats on the anniversary and a hearty thanks for this meaty post.

Good penning, my friend, comes from a good heart.


Denise said...

Thank you for touching my heart with this post. I cared for my momma, watching her suffering was so hard. Taking care of her was such an honot, I cherish all the times I had with her.

Denise said...

Happy Anniversary sweetie.

Cyndy said...

Thank you for this post. It touches my heart. We are going to visit my FIL this week, he is slipping and it is very difficult to watch this once sharp and vibrant man struggle with everyday things.

God weaves a tapestry of our lives, the dark threads make the bright threads stand out all the more.

Denise said...

You are such a sweetie. I appreciate your kind comments on my blog. It really touches my heart to know that you are reading all of my post. Blessings to you, I love you.

HIS Daughter said...

I think I found you through Paula's blog. I am so glad I did!
Your whole post was for me. I'm crying but it's a good cry.

That happened to my Mom too. I was with her when she closed her eyes at last here. GOD spared her the agony of watching me spiral into a dark abyss of sin. I am sorry I lost her than at 82, but thankful GOD spared her the ugliness that her daughter descended into.

Happy Anniversary and may GOD bless every inch of your sweet life.

I want to come back here to visit again. It feels like a safe place to sit and just have ice tea:-)

Blessings and Prayer,

HIS Daughter said...


GOD let me find you. I just love how HE does that!

Your heart is so beautiful towards Our Father and that beautiful post about the little yellow feather made me tear up, but in a happy way!

Thank you so much for being a blessing to me!

I am praying for your trip!
Blessings for a wonderful 4th!

Tracy said...

Reading your post reminds me just how blessed my life has been. (It also makes clear to me why you felt drawn to pray for my Mother-in-law.) I have yet to endure an extended,heart-wrenching season such as this. There have been moments of pain, fear and uncertainty, some of which were deep, and I have sometimes asked why, yet I've always, ALWAYS been able to sense His presence. I pray that no matter the season, I always will.

Thank you for your precious testimony, Mary. You are a treasure!


P.S. Happy Anniversary to you and your beloved.

valerie said...

Mary, I came to your blog through my precious friend Teri's.
I have an aunt and some cousins who live in Pasadena TX.
What a blessing to see a sweet couple like you who have been married for so many years.
Happy Anniversary. May you be blessed with many, many more.
My hubby and I are about to celebrate 29 on July 20.
Blessings to you,