Try Hard (Don’t Make it)

“Stop striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted on the earth.” Psalm 46:10 NASB

“Belief in God and trusting God—the difference is enormous!”

The Christian life is difficult. The non-Christian life is difficult. For the Christian, suffering is only for a time-a moment compared to eternity. The choice, you would think, would be easy.

The most dark and frightening time in my life was when I was a full-time caregiver for my husband with Lewy Body Dementia. However, the dogs needed their walk, horses needed their feed, water and care every morning. This was Christmas time, the last Christmas my husband would be in his own home. My goal was to have everything as nice, loving and normal as I could for him. Lots of striving involved. So, with my husband settled in his recliner, I threw on my winter garb, got the dog leashes and set out for our walk. There’s a little park across the street from my home in my rural town and Christmas lights were sparking on the cabin and large fir tree there. The dogs were digging in the snow and displayed their snow beards with doggie enthusiasm and doggy wags. The horses whinnied and nuzzled me and each other–oatmeal Christmas cookies. And there were diamonds in the snow and the icicles sparkled like blue topaz. The stars above were just as marvelous-winking their approval. It was warm. No wind. For that short time, I was beloved. Embraced. Hopeful. Glimpse of Paradise. Breath of Heaven. I was still. No striving. God. Me. Creation. And God was exalted with great awe and tenderness. I did not sit down and chant or recite a Bible quote. Speechless wonder and thanks were mine. It carried me through my husband’s erratic illness and death.

Most translations of Psalm 46:10 say, “Be still and know that I am God.” But my controlling ways recognize “stop striving” so much better. Caregivers strive. Young parents strive. Elderly strive. We all strive at some time. Recovering Black Sheep/Scapegoats strive to be good. The smart ones know that God causes the growth and faithfully do what’s in front of them. No striving.

Musings

Striving, and the world encourages this, will not guarantee success. Striving will not necessarily reward you and if it does, it’s fleeting. Striving is bad for our mental and physical health. The temptation to strive and strive some more is there every day. Yes, I have work to do. Yes, I have responsibilities. I don’t have to strive. The outcome is God’s. I can depend on my Father for my future. Seems risky. However, my way has humbled me into knowing His way is best.

Prayer

Dear Father,

Thank you for our future, especially our future with you. Let us immerse ourselves in the wonder of you and your creation. You called it good. Let us trust you. No matter what we face, we just need to know that you are God and dependency on you means no striving. No matter the media blasts, headlines, threats and hyperbole of this world, we don’t strive. We trust you.

Amen.

Published by Barbara Hinther

Barbara Hinther author of Meditations and Encouragement for the Caregiver of a Loved One with Dementia and What About Me, God. Time to share what she has learned and hopefully, others will know they are not alone. This too, shall pass with beautiful, yet painful, lessons. Barbara lives in a rural town in Idaho where all is community. Bless everyone in the community for their support and their never-ending let’s pitch in attitude! She worked in marketing for over 30 years and volunteered with the Idaho Youth Ranch and St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store. Then her hardest job ever was caring for her husband who died from Lewy body dementia and needed her full-time care. Feelings of abandonment were constant. Life was very difficult for a while, but love, faith and hope will overcome. Let the adventure continue!

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