It’s been a weary week so far. My mother-in-law spent the weekend in the hospital with pneumonia. She spent last night in our home coughing and wheezing and being understandably upset. My husband spent much of the night trying to help and comfort Mom.
Sometime during the night, or early morning, I read my Streams in the Desert devotional for November 12th. And one paragraph especially spoke to me…
“Brightly colored sunsets and starry heavens, majestic mountains and shining seas, and fragrant fields and fresh-cut flowers are not even half as beautiful as a soul who is serving Jesus out of love, through the wear and tear of an ordinary, unpoetic life.” ~Frederick William Faber
I wish I could say my motives are always about serving Jesus out of love. I think my love for Jesus is hopefully always a factor to some degree, but I probably too often serve out of duty and/or because I have no choice.
Like last night when my mother-in-law slid onto the floor from a recliner. And my husband woke me up about four in the morning for help. I don’t know if that counts as serving Jesus out of love. We just couldn’t leave her on the floor. I did pray and ask for wisdom, and God helped us get her up, and I’m grateful for that.
I think those of us who are caregivers understand that we do what we have to do. But I wonder if many, or any, of us feel like “beautiful souls” while we are doing it.
But what if we are? What if our Heavenly Father is looking at us and smiling? What if He’s saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Or even, “This is my son/daughter. With him/her I am well pleased.”
What if all the sacrifices, the lack of freedom, loss of wages, emotional and health strains and sleeplessness, are all growing our own souls? What if our rewards are being stored up in Heaven?
What if all this hard stuff is teaching us to love more deeply and culling away selfishness and self-centeredness?
What if serving Jesus as a caregiver really is making our souls beautiful, “through the wear and tear of an ordinary, unpoetic life?”