The Gift of Caregiving?

Sunset in the country

In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.—PSALM 138:3 (NIV)

Caregiving, both the medical side and the emotional capacity, is a skill and gift. Some people are better suited for it than others. “I hate medical stuff. I’ve always been grossed out by it,” my Aunt Jan says. As the child of a doctor, she had wanted to follow in his footsteps. When she was a teenager, she signed on to be a candy striper, but that job was short-lived. “I couldn’t handle helping with a wound dressing. I quit halfway through my first day and walked three miles home.”

So when Aunt Jan temporarily quit teaching, her natural calling, to care for her mother for two years, she could have given in to the feelings toward squeamish medical stuff that she’d experienced as a child, but she didn’t. Instead, she turned to God for help in an area far outside her comfort zone. “When you’re naturally good at something, you can do pretty well on your own,” Aunt Jan says, “but not when you don’t have the skill or the gift for it.” In her prayers, she kept asking, “God, how do I do this?” And because she asked, God gave her the strength to be a good caregiver for her mother.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, you know what we’re good at, but thank you for also helping us in uncharted territory.

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