Friday, September 12, 2008

Caring for others

Lifework (From Our Daily Bread)
1 Timothy 5:1-8
If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. —1 Timothy 5:8
Some of our friends have chosen to curtail or leave their ministries this year. They did so in order to care for family members—for aging parents, ill spouses, siblings, or children with special needs. All were involved in fruitful works for which they were uniquely gifted. All believed that there was much to be done.
Some have chosen to reduce the time and energy they spend on those ministries; others have left their work completely. These adjustments have been difficult because ministry has been their lifework—a work for which they spent years in preparation and had many years yet to serve.
It occurs to me, however, that they have not given up their lifework but rather have assumed another. Loving and caring for others is our life’s work, and caring for those of our “own house” is the highest and holiest work of all. To deny love is to align ourselves with a cold, uncaring world.
Not everyone can leave a career or calling to care for others. Financial realities and obligations may dictate otherwise. But is not such love the mark of one who does the work of God? Did not Jesus promise that one who gives a cup of cold water to one of His children “shall by no means lose his reward”? (Matt. 10:42). —David Roper

This was one of the things I read today and just had to write about got me to thinking about my father-in-law.........
Larry's mother, Connie Hixson, had a stroke and a heart attack several years ago. It left her partially paralyzed and also affected her speech patterns. She has had to be in nursing home care since that time. It has been very hard on the family, heartbreaking in fact. She was slowing down because of age before this happened, but she is one of the most VIBRANT of women I know!!! To see this happen to her is sometimes almost unbearable. And of course it has put a huge burden upon the family members who live near. Larry's brother, Lee, and his wife, Julie.....have many added cares and responsibilities, to which they do an absolutely marvelous job. We are so grateful to know they are there. Larry is many times "tormented" to feel helpless by living so far away. He does what he can, which is limited.
Anyway..this devotion brought back a memory of not too many months ago when Larry's Dad, Wayne, was in church....and the pastor mentioned casually about participating in a ministry.......and he ministry NOW is caring for my WIFE. And he sure does! He is there every single day, day in, day her side. It has so drastically changed their lives, but he is doing exactly what that devotion is talking about......putting everything else aside, to care for his beloved BRIDE!......
I can't help but inject also another memory ...and that is of my experience with cancer.......while I was undergoing treatment, which was about 4 or more months of intense surgery, chemo husband, Larry, also....put aside his very busy business to care for me every step, every inch of the way.....he was by my side most of the time.....he did not miss ONE Dr. appt. or chemo treatment........the Lord "slowed" his business down......and it picked up again as I was gaining strength! He is and was then, my HERO.


Anonymous said...

How sweet. That is LOVE. I just love to hear stories of how husbands and wifes take care of each other when hard times hit. I admire people who have been married 50+ yrs. My grandparents are a great example of that. I think they have been married 63 yrs.

Karen said...

Nice of your Father-in-Law to stand up and tell of his ministry. Good for him. What love he has for his wife!

Anonymous said...

Amen! Wayne is a marvelous man. I admire him and Connie so much. I know that no one is perfect, and Connie would never say that she is even close. But I pray that I will grow in my Christian walk to such an extent that I could accept such a hard trial as graciously as Connie has. She is my hero!