I heard this comment by Dr. Joy Brown, a radio psychologist, one evening on my way home from work: “Most of the answers are simple. They are just not easy.” As I reflected on this, it seemed to be a profound truth. I would like to share some seemingly simple answers, from a spiritual perspective. The problem with answers that sound simple is that they are often much more difficult to put into practice. Sometimes, though, in order to do what is emotionally healthy, we must take the more difficult path.
1. People who are giving to others need to be in relationships with other giving people.
Some of us will give until we are dried up, believing that sacrificial giving will sustain us, “It is what God is asking of me.” Yet we begin to notice that we are easily irritated, tired and uninterested in things that used to hold our attention. We pray, and ask God to help us with these symptoms and then become frustrated when He doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers.
But the answer to our prayers may be that we should be utilizing the resources God has put into our lives. We should develop relationships with the people he has placed in our world, the people who can give back to us with love and assistance.
God wants to take care of us and will surround those of us who are in positions of taking care of others with caring, loving people to sustain us. We may need to open our eyes and see them, as well as be willing to spend time receiving from them.
It seems that across the nation, not just in our own homes, caregivers do not ask for the help they need. And if they do, and are refused, they do not ask again. The difficult task is to keep asking. Someone will answer the call; whether moved by our need or by the hand of God, they will answer.
2. The world and the people in it cannot be controlled by me.
We are merely specks in the universe, and God doesn’t do what we want Him to do based on our performance. However, we might believe that if we are doing a good job as a caregiver, or praying, or being a good person, bad things won’t happen. A reward because we were good. Our behavior should count for something.
Yet, we are brought back to the truth. We are not in control and trying to exert control over situations and people with our behavior does not work. We cannot make things better by behaving well, and we are not to blame if things take a downward turn. We find, instead, that there is a greater force than us controlling things. I truly believe the passage in the Bible which tells us that God will not give us more than we can bear.
So in conclusion, in the midst of our struggle to accomplish our tasks, to the best of our abilities, we can challenge our expectations and preconceptions. We can allow others to support us. When we do, we will find that we can be much more supportive and encouraging to those receiving our care.
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