In a Heartbeat

Heart-shaped cloud

I remember God, and I moan. I complain, and my spirit grows tired.—PSALM 77:3 (CEB)

As a caregiver, I know what it is to grow tired and discouraged. At such times, I have found comfort in the psalmist’s honest complaints, the doubting and moaning even when thinking of God. As my mother grew mentally distant with dementia, it sometimes felt like God was leaving her behind, even though I knew better. This verse helped me remember that God knows about my doubts and struggles, welcomes me to express them like the psalmist and loves me all the same.

Sometimes, I struggled saying goodnight to my mother after my regular evening visits with her in the memory care unit. I wished I didn’t have to leave her alone. Then I would listen to her heartbeat. For me, a heartbeat is one reassurance that God will not forsake us. Every heartbeat reassured me of God’s constant, caring presence.

I cannot live without a pulse and yet I cannot keep my own heart beating. Only God can, and God does—over 100,000 times per day, 37 million times per year, even when I lie asleep. Thus, when saying goodnight to my mom, I would often place my ear to her heart as we hugged. Her steady pulse reassured me of God’s faithful care for her, which I believe continues now in Heaven.

Today's Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thanks for your faithful promise never to forsake me. Help me to remember to trust that you love and care for my loved ones more than I ever could.

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