The Gospel for Caregivers

More and more of my friends are arriving at a season of life I entered a decade ago. Unlike other stages of life, people don’t dream of this life stage. Many dread it. It’s not stored in anyone’s hope chest or added to a bucket list. It just happens–sometimes gradually and sometimes all at once–at least for most of us.

Caring for an aging or ill parent (or grandparent).

We spend our entire lives fulfilling certain roles: daughter, son, niece, father, mother, brother. And one day they change. One day our parents rely on us for rides to the doctor, healthy meals, and proper hygiene instead of it being as it’s always been: the other way around. Instead of them signing our permission slips, we’re signing as their power of attorney. Instead of them telling us to clean our room, we’re sitting with them in a hospital room or moving them into an assisted living room. Instead of them changing our diapers, we’re changing theirs.

Yet somehow in the midst of the stress and the grief, there is the calm realization that this is a blessed way to express our gratitude. And it’s a beautiful way to imitate Jesus.

Even Christ had an earthly caregiver role. On the cross, He made sure his friend John would see to his mother’s care. It was the inverse of a parent making sure minor children would be raised in a loving home after the parents’ death.

Dear Caregivers, I know it’s hard. I know it’s draining physically, emotionally, financially, and, yes, even spiritually. Press on. This is an act of worship. This is following in the footsteps of a Savior who:

  • actively loved without expecting anything in return.
  • did everything to the glory of God the Father.
  • interceded physically and continues to intercede spiritually.
  • honored His parents.
  • gave His best when we were at our worst.
  • meets us in our suffering.
  • will restore all things one day–broken bodies and broken minds included.

5 thoughts on “The Gospel for Caregivers

  1. Tiffany, well said, sister. I lost my dad June 4, 2015 and my mom was dependent on him for everything running the property with insurance, finances, even putting gas in her car! as her life was turned upside down and stress levels extremely high, she needed patience and repetition to absorb and reset to “new normal”. She also needed some pressing to get things done like her will, make necessary changes. Through it all she has grown to love Jesus and rely on Him. the Lord has been gracious and provided everything she and we have needed. It is very tiring and draining at times, but would never choose otherwise. pam tucker

    1. Pam, I can affirm the challenge and the blessing of helping your mom adjust to her new normal. My heart just broke for my dad the years he lived with us as he missed my mom so much. But, it was a great blessing and privilege to serve him and I did sense it was a “sacrifice of praise” to take care of him. I have NEVER regretted it though it was hard at times. God was gracious to allow us to have him.

  2. Tiffany, what a beautiful and accurate sentiment. Sometimes we get a chance to pay back a little of the love we have received. You are doing this with grace. I am so happy to call you friend!

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