Have you ever had one of those times where you question your life? I’m not talking suicidal thoughts, but a wondering of why you’re here, what’s your purpose in life and if things will ever get back to normal or just better than they currently are. I had one of those experiences a few days ago. If you know me, or catch the drift of this blog, you would know that I am a pretty up person and do not usually have to deal with depressive thoughts. But this was an especially tough week.
I’d mentioned that we had started my wife on an additional drug to stimulate her cognitive functions. Her initial reaction was very positive but as we increased the dosage up to the prescribed amount it kind of went downhill from there. Throughout it, I have had to continually remind myself of her experience when we increased her dosage of the Aricept a couple of years back. For two or three weeks her reaction was terrible and just as I was about to call her doctor and stop the process she became stable and much more alert!
By Tuesday or Wednesday of this week though, I was not remembering the past and was getting absorbed… too absorbed… in Piper’s natural reactions to the change in her medications. It got to the point on one day that she just stop walking and I had to carry her from one room to another… and my back which I take great effort to exercise and keep strong finally began to whine over it! It was at that time that questions about where we are in our lives right now began to come up in my mind.
Let’s face it…We are just in a weird place right now! We are literally living on the other end of the country from where we are used to being, unable to attend church on a regular basis when we practically lived there 24/7 since our dating days, I am not working an outside job which I’ve done since I was in Junior High, and find myself in the demanding role of a 24 hour a day (or as a popular book on the care of Alzheimer patients calls it: “The 36 hour day”) caregiver for my once vibrant and extremely active wife.
All of that seemed to come to a head on Wednesday afternoon. I had just finished getting a spaghetti-like Piper ready for the day and shuffled into the kitchen where I tiredly poured myself into a chair at the table. I was not in the best place I have ever been in! After a few moments of sitting there in order to regain a semblance of perspective and strength, I tapped my computer to awaken it from its power saving sleep mode and starred at the picture that popped up.
I periodically change the picture that I set up as the desktop background and had recently placed a picture of Piper and I that was taken at our wedding rehearsal on the night before our wedding. In fact I believe it was the same picture I posted on our blog page earlier in the week. In the photo we had just turned around after facing the Pastor and were getting in position to walk back off the platform. As I examined the scene I was drawn to the look in Piper’s eyes and everything suddenly changed!
I had never seen it before… In the picture I had taken her left hand into my left hand and was cradling it in with my right arm. I was looking at her hand and she was looking up at my face. In her eyes I saw a trust in me that I’d not picked up before. It was like on the night before the beginning of our life together she was saying, “I am putting all my trust into you Jim! I am putting my life into your hands and am expecting you to care for me… and I have NO doubt that you will ever fail me…”
And with that revelation unfolding before me, any doubt, any questions and any thoughts of how long I could keep doing what I am doing simply disappeared! She had put her unequivocal trust in me as a very young women forty years ago and there is NO way that I would ever let her down! In a moment’s time I felt physically, emotionally and spiritually strong. I realized that I have the most important job in the world in taking care of her as we walk “through the valley of the shadow of death.” (Psalm 23:4 KJV) For “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 MKJV) because “Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4 KJV)
I also have the confidence and earnest expectation that no matter how much that which I see with my eyes conflicts with the truth of His Word, that He is the One that “always causes us to (eventually) triumph in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:14 MKJV) Above all, I understand that my intimate relationship with Him causes me to know His voice when times may be at their toughest as He declares to me that “I will never neglect you (and Piper) or abandon you.” (Joshua 1:5 God’s Word ©)
So that’s it! I know my current place and purpose in life. No, it is not where I would really prefer to be, nor do I really care for it… But today I move on with a renewed and re-strengthen and expectant purpose KNOWING that I am doing EXACTLY what I am supposed and empowered by His Word and His love to be doing!
How about you today? Do you KNOW that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing? It doesn’t really matter whether you agree with it, like it or not… What matters is that you do it in the strength and expectancy of His power and His love! Have a great weekend and rejoice and be glad for He will “never neglect or abandon you” in the midst of any tough time you find yourself going through… and keep asking yourself… “What or Whose strength and purpose am I expecting today?”
PS: Piper was walking with renewed strength and coordination last night and again this morning! PTL!