Thursday, July 20, 2017

Caregiver Chronicles: Leaving the Help Behind and Stumbling Your Way Through




Sam has balance issues that result in falling issues. His "regular" walker helped, but he had to pick it up with every step. He's not as strong as he used to be, so it wouldn't take long before he was worn out. He couldn't go far.

The rolling walker that hospice brought changed everything. It wasn't as tiring  because he didn't have to lift it, but he could lean against it to steady himself when he felt weak. He stopped falling. He started walking a little more.

The new device was a great help. The problem was that Sam couldn't always remember the walker.

One day, I came home to find Sam's car gone and the walker still standing in the driveway. He'd rolled out to the car, climbed in, and left the walker behind. 

I headed to my house to find him. As expected, he had just finished feeding the horses. He staggered a bit and I reached to steady him.

"Where's your walker, Sam?"

He stared at me like with a blank expression. "Walker?"

"You know. The one with wheels on it. It looks like you need it."

Sam leaned back against my car and looked around him. "Walker. Hmm. I don't know."

"You left it in the driveway when you got in your car."

"Well. No wonder I'm staggering around, then."

The walker was a wonderful help, but only when Sam remembered to take advantage of the stability it offered.

I do that sometimes. Maybe you do, too. In the midst of a busy day, a difficult situation, an agonizing decision, it's easy to depend on our own strength. When we do, we end up as wobbly, spiritually speaking, as Sam.

It's all too easy to forget that we don't have to depend on ourselves. Our God never leaves us nor forsakes us. (Deut. 31:6) He is a very present help in time of trouble. (Psalm 46:1) He stands ready to offer wisdom, if we will only ask to receive it. (James 1:5)

When I took Sam somewhere that required a lot of walking, he was quick to remember the walker. Around the house, a few steps at a time, he was more likely to forget it.

In the biggest trials of life, it's easier to depend on God. When we know we can't handle it, we want the One who can.

In the everyday routine, though, it's easy to think, "I've got this..." We don't, not really. 

What if we asked for God's guidance, His strength, His power in every decision, every situation? What if we relied on God's stability instead of our own?

Today, let's stop in our busyness long enough to ask God to direct us, help us, lead us in whatever we face.   Let's rely on His wisdom and not our own and depend on the stability only He can give.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1 kjv
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