I began the year 0f 2016 wondering which elderly person I loved would no longer be here when Christmas rolled around. The year has ended, and all four are still with us.
Two couples. The men in nursing facilities. Their wives at home. All four are deeply unhappy. They are not where they want to be, or with the person they have loved for many years. Though everyone is well cared for, there is a sadness that permeates every aspect of their lives.
Their frustration and sadness is also ours—the family caregivers. We can not undo the ravages of dementia and disease. We cannot turn back the clock to happier days. We cannot give them what they want most of all—life the way it used to be.
The weight of their unhappiness has made me sad. I’ve acquired a negative outlook that has spilled over into other areas of my life. I don’t like who I’ve become.
I need an attitude adjustment. It’s time I focused on something other than the all consuming task of caregiving. It’s time to turn my heart’s attention to Someone greater than myself and the tasks He’s given me. To the One who numbers my days, and their days, and helps us through the hard places. The Almighty God. The Everlasting Father.
I’ve selected PRAISE as my one word for 2017.
I look forward to the days when it will be easy to glorify and honor God. I hope there are many. But I know there will be days when praising Him will be difficult. When my world, and the world of those I love, will appear to be falling apart. On those days my most important task will be to intentionally choose to praise an all-knowing God I do not understand. I can praise Him because He is good, and He is trustworthy. He is my God in every situation.
My praise is not a reward I give Him when He blesses me. My praise cannot be based on my feelings, or how well I think God Almighty has performed His job.
No matter what my circumstances, God is worthy of praise. Always.
Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.”