Bite-sized Strength

Man lifting arms toward the sunlight

He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it.—1 CORINTHIANS 10:13 [THE MESSAGE]

My husband and I were having dinner with some dear friends. We were wondering why we had felt so exhausted lately and the wife said, “It’s because you have been caring for one parent or another for the last fifteen years. You’ve been the decision-maker, doctor-scheduler, chauffeur, mover, downsizer, and the legal and financial adviser. You’ve spent thousands of hours in correspondence—telephone calls, emails, letters. No wonder you’re exhausted. And you had to do it four times.”

It might sound strange, but we’d never given our growing obligations much of a thought. We just did what we had to do at the time. It was only afterwards when we had some time for reflection that we recognized the strain.

It reminded me of the old adage: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. We had had fifteen years of small bites of caregiving for our parents; over the years, only one parent at a time had needed hands-on tending. While the care was cumulative, with each parent we became better equipped at necessary parental health management. We were grateful for a God who knew exactly the size of our troubles, provided endurance and was with us each step of the way.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, thank you for making the care of our loved ones manageable.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts