Last night I put my father to bed. This wonderful, once strong man was clutching my arm for support as I helped him in. Lifting his legs up over the side of the bed so he could lie down to rest for the night, my main focus was to make him as comfortable as possible. When I pulled up the covers and bent down to kiss him good night, he put his arms up around me and held me as tightly as he could. The lump in my throat swelled, and as I blinked back tears, I told him I loved him. In response, his grip around me tightened and he whispered words of love.
I couldn’t help but notice how the roles had reversed. My dad… my vibrant, funny, trustworthy dad, was always the one to put me to bed when I was a child. He would tuck me in, read me a story (quite often a favorite from his own childhood) and kiss me good night. It was always the perfect ending to my day. Now things are different and it breaks my heart.
I know this is the way of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I love my dad. Seeing him so frail and in pain is incredibly difficult. I am praying constantly for this man, who was the one to teach me to pray. But, sometimes the sorrow that fills me is too much to bear. The sight of his suffering weakens me. However, I have learned to rely on my heavenly Father for strength. “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word” (Psalm 119:28). Our God is always faithful! His presence is tangible as I care for my dad, and it encourages and strengthens me. I am so thankful.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
Are any of you going through a difficult time? Is a loved one of yours travelling a painful road? Do not fear! Instead, to look to the Lord! He will strengthen you and give you the ability to make it through the Valley. He is with us in our time of need, filled with compassion and empathy as He guides us along the way.
Clinging to Him,