These sacred words from the scripture passage in Romans have been a source of strength and hope for me throughout my life, but took on new meaning during the last year or so of facing Dad’s continual diminishment and leading up to my Mom’s knee replacement surgery and afterward. I am awestruck by the grace provided throughout this time. It has been a tumultuous and mentally exhausting time for me dealing with the role reversal of caring for aging parents and the non-stop resistance of everything I have attempted to do to assist them. I have often just cried in desperation not knowing how to love and honor them when our definitions of those two words differ so drastically.
It has only been through prayer and dedication to my personal relationship with Our Lord, Jesus Christ, that I have been sustained through it all. When I have felt overwhelmed, I admitted my own powerlessness and turned to God for the consolation that only He could provide. I thank my dear friends, family members, and spiritual companions for being there for me when I needed them most. It has been amazing to me how I received visits, food, phone calls, emails or text messages of love and encouragement from someone just when I needed it most to keep my focus on the hope of the resurrection in the midst of what seemed impossible at times.
Hear my cry, O God;
Give heed to my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
4 Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.
During the darkest times surrounding the experiences I encountered when I was tempted to succumb to self-pity and/or self-doubt about prayerful decisions made , I sometimes lost sight that good would come from it all. There were times when the hurt of not hearing from loved ones that I thought would be there for me caused unnecessary pain and suffering, especially, when I got ill during the last month while both Mom and Dad were in the hospital.
However, Our Gracious God, reminded me of the undue pain and suffering of Jesus on the Cross. I began to beg Jesus to help me to be in solidarity with Him and allow the emotional pain and suffering to somehow be redemptive and to heal my wounded heart. This was a great reminder to me that un-forgiveness can poison our spirits. As hard as it has been, I have prayed and begged the Lord using His words on the Cross, “Forgive them for they know not what they do” to prevent me from harboring any resentment. Praying to the Lord to heal their hearts of whatever pain and suffering prevented them from offering and sharing God’s great love has been very helpful for me as well.
As Jesus continues to reveal to me from my private time spent with Him in prayer, “love never fails”. Love is the only answer to keeping a pure heart. When I am tempted to harbor ill will or when I notice a twinge of resentment stirring in my heart, I surrender it to Jesus and ask Him to give me His heart. I beg to be able to glance at those who have hurt me with the same loving gaze that I imagine Jesus gave Peter after Peter denied Him three times during His Passion.
I now invite you to turn to Our Savior and spend as much time as you would like with Him……….Pour your heart out about whatever it is in your own life at this time that may have you overwhelmed………Allow the Lord to console you and bring you hope in the midst of what seems impossible……….Allow Him to heal any hurts you may be experiencing along the way……….Surrender any resentment or un-forgiveness of those who may have let you down………..Then when you feel it is time to leave Jesus, thank Him for the time together and allow the sacred words “love never fails” to permeate your being.
Please let me hear from you in the comments………………
“Taken from the The Hopeless Romantic: Falling in Love with God site of Patti Clement. www.patticlement.wordpress.com Used with Permission.”