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There is a Redeemer

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
July 30, 2022 3:30 am

There is a Redeemer

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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July 30, 2022 3:30 am

A frustration point for many family caregivers lies in unmet expectations, hopes, and dreams. We often visualize what could be – but choices beyond our control are roadblocks. Ashamedly, I admit to trying to force solutions on more than one occasion – only to frustrate myself, my wife, and who knows how many others. Letting go of those hopes and expectations, however, can be painful. Over the last few years, I’ve tried a different approach. In my mind, I envision a rather large box that I call “The Box of Things That God Will Have to Redeem.”

Offloading those items, losses, heartaches, and disappointment to God reduces my angst and the potential for resentment.

For me, the box is genuine,

and reflects my faith that God will indeed redeem each of those things - He’s better at carrying them than me. Of course, the temptation to retrieve items and stew on them often grips me. Yet I can affirm that each time I place them back in the box, I grow less tempted to dwell on them.

Letting go of what is impossible to carry helps me live more peacefully with equally impossible circumstances.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4 (KJV)

 

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We're so glad that you're with us. What is a family caregiver? I get that question a lot. I mean, you know, you see the advertisements for caregiving services. Those are caregivers, right? And then I got people that say, well, you know, I'm a parent. I'm caring for my children.

Is it the same? And I would suggest you know that it's not. A family caregiver is someone who voluntarily, this is without pay, puts themselves between a vulnerable loved one and even worse, disaster. In addition, that loved one has a chronic impairment of some kind that is most likely not going to get better in this world. So while our duties as family caregivers intersect so many other individuals who are doing similar type of things, parents for example, there is the expectation with children that they're going to grow and learn and become able to do certain tasks and function in life in a certain way. But when you're caring for somebody with a chronic impairment, whether it's an aging parent or a child with special needs or somebody who's had a traumatic event, there is the understanding that this is not going to get better for the most part. This is going to be a long slog and you're going to adapt your life to this.

So there is a difference and yes, the duties intersect and sometimes it feels like we're doing the same thing, but that's only because we're merging together on certain tasks. There still is that expectation that it's going to get better when you're dealing with, for example, children. So I just wanted to have that because I get asked that a lot and it's not to diminish anything else that anyone's doing, but it's just that we as family caregivers have a very specific journey and that journey involves us often having conversations with the ceiling fan and we're thinking, how are we going to do this past our own grave?

What kind of provisions must we make? What do we do? How do we function in this? And it is at times terrifying. And then there's heartbreak of watching someone struggle, knowing that it's not going to necessarily get better.

And it's filled with all kinds of different dynamics. You know, you grieve over certain things every day, knowing that those things are gone. They're not going to happen. And I call that a box of things that God will have to redeem. You know, it's a frustration point for many of us as family caregivers when we have unmet expectations and knowing that they're not going to occur. But we visualize what could be, but choices beyond our control are roadblocks. And I'm ashamed to admit this. I have tried to force solutions on more than one occasion. I have done this and I kind of stand here with my head hanging a little bit because I see that as a regular temptation with me and a regular choice that I make to try to push it. But I end up frustrating myself, Gracie, and who knows how many others. And so I've learned over the years, let me correct that, I am learning over the years to let go of those hopes and expectations. But I'm also learning that letting go of those things can be very painful. And so over the last couple of years, I've tried a different approach.

And this may work for you, it may not, but this is what I do. I envision a rather large box in my mind. I've just kind of envisioned this large box and it gets larger by the day. And I call that the box of things that God will have to redeem. I call that the box of things that God will have to redeem. And when I offload these items that create this grief, this stress, this angst, and I put it in there, and they're filled with heartache and disappointments, all these things, and I offload that to God, put it in that box of things that God will have to redeem.

I find that it reduces my stress and the potential for resentment. Those of you who regular listen to this program know that I deal with that word resentment a lot on this show, because I believe this is a huge battle for us as caregivers. And expectations are often embryonic resentments, and they can grow to consume us. And that resentment is something that you see over and over and over in Scripture. You can see it all the way back to Cain and Abel, where Cain resented his brother Abel for the favor that God showed him. And I could just go through Scripture after Scripture after Scripture, because this is the human condition.

This is what we are prone to do. We have these expectations, this is what we want, this is what we desire, and if we don't get it, we resent. And yet, we are called as believers to take a different path, to turn that over to God, to trust him, to work it out in his time. What does that mean, in his time? And you go back to Ecclesiastes 3, and I would recommend just spending some time there. Ecclesiastes 3, okay, it's a small book that we've heard familiar passages, but let's take a moment as a caregiver, let's look at this in context. And you know the first part of it where it says, for everything there's a season, and every time a matter under heaven, a time to be born, a time to die, you've heard this.

I mean, the birds turned it into a song, turn, turn, turn, back in the 60s, I think. And so we've heard this, that there's a time for this, but then we stop there. If we push on from verse 9, we see what gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, reading on verse 11, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I think through that for just a moment. He's put eternity in our heart. We know there's something more. It feels different, if you will. There's something more.

This shouldn't be. There's a bigger picture. So, as I struggle with these things that we as caregivers do, that eternity in my heart, planted by God, which is ignited by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, because then we understand in Christ what this is starting to mean now. And that he has a plan for us, and that he has a plan for this, that he will redeem these things, that we're not left to our own devices. And the box for me of things that God has to redeem, that's a genuine box.

That's a real thing to me. And it reflects my faith that God will indeed redeem each of these things, and that he's better at carrying them than me. Now, of course, the temptation is for me to go back into that box, rummage through it, and retrieve those items and stew on them. And I struggle with that. But yet I can affirm that each time I put those things back in that box of things that God has to redeem, I grow less tempted to dwell on them.

And letting go of what is impossible for me to carry helps me live more peacefully with equally impossible circumstances. Now, here's the scripture I want to button this up with, and then we'll get into more stuff during the rest of the program here. Revelation 21 for it. Check this out.

Listen to this. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away. That sounds an awful lot like God redeeming all those things, doesn't it?

The box of things that God has to redeem. This is Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. We're so glad you're with us. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. There's more to go.

We'll be right back. There is a Redeemer. Jesus, God's own Son. Precious Lamb of God. Messiah. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger.

This is the program for you as a family caregiver, and that is the incomparable Keith Green. Singing There is a Redeemer, written by his wife, Melody Green, and it remains, I think, one of the 25 hymns that every Christian ought to know, and maybe I'll do a whole series on that each week or so, just a hymn, because I know some of you have heard me talk about the hymns, but there's a reason I do this, because these hymns say with such clarity the message of the Gospel and hope and strength and encouragement that we can hang on to when the storms hit, and this is one of them. We were talking about the last block, the box of things that God has to redeem, and that word redeem, redemption, is throughout all of Scripture. You will see this being portrayed, alluded to, modeled, and then the redemption for our souls was accomplished at the cross, and all of these things that we see today that are broken with this world is all being redeemed and will be redeemed through Christ and what He is doing.

We don't know when, and we don't like waiting, at least I don't. I don't know about you, but yet here we are, and that's why this song is such an important song to us as believers. There is a Redeemer, a Redeemer, Jesus, God's own Son, precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One, and then when He gets to the chorus, He just breaks loose. Thank you, O my Father, for giving us your Son and leaving your spirit to the work on earth is done. Father, Son, Spirit, and this is one of those crucial hymns, I think, to us as believers that we can sing in whatever dark watches of the night that we find ourselves. There is not one set of circumstances that we can face or will face as Christians that this hymn is not applicable.

And why is that important to us as caregivers? Because we live through very dark times, many of us do, and there are times when our words fail us and we don't know what to say, we don't know what to pray, we don't know how to think, we don't know what to do, and it's in those moments when we're anchored in music like this that we can whisper it out, even, because the words have been laid out so beautifully for us to be able to wrap our mouths around to say these things, and it expresses our heart. You've got to remember, we were born and built and designed to worship God. Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, and exalting Him is in our DNA. When we reject that, we are turning from that, and we are walking away from God, walking away from our design, and that's what this whole mess is all about. But when we do this, we are doing what we were built to do, and that's why it flows out of us, it gives us strength, and it gives strength to our bones, and we don't have to sing it or play it very well, we just say it and do it out of obedience first, and then out of great enthusiasm as it comes, because it builds us up as we do it. And this is what I mean when I say there's a box of things God has to redeem when we recognize that He is the great redeemer. We see this by faith now, but we can anchor ourselves in Isaiah 51, Isaiah 51, 11, therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing and design. You know that song?

I played it, I think, a time or two here on the program. Let me go to the caregiver keyboard. Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion. This is Isaiah 51, 11, an everlasting joy shall be upon their head. And then it goes on to say, they shall obtain gladness and joy and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. Now, what does that sound like to you? To me, it sounds like God's going to redeem these things and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

They shall obtain gladness and joy. And so the question is, for us as caregivers, when we are seeing these things and we have these unmet expectations, we want it taken away, we want to not have to deal with this right now. Are we willing to trust Him with it? Are we willing to allow Him to unfold it in His time? And if so, why are we willing to do that? It's just really important we know what we believe and why we believe it.

What does that even mean? If we're not willing to do it, that's a different conversation. But if we are willing to do it, we are willing to do it, why is that? And the why becomes critically important to us so that we're reminding ourselves, we're saying to ourselves, He's going to redeem this. And the more we say that, the more we understand it, the more we anchor ourselves in that, the more we're going to just, our souls will erupt with gratitude.

Let me go back over to the caregiver keyboard here. And listen to this, listen to the way this kind of unfolds. And Keith Green did it when he performed it. He starts off very simple. There is a Redeemer. Okay.

This is it. There is a Redeemer. Jesus, Jesus, God's own Son. Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One. And then he gets to this chorus, thank you, O my Father, for giving us your Son. And see, here's the Trinitarian part, and leaving your spirit till the work on earth is done.

So you see what he said? This is one of the 25 hymns that every Christian should know, because it anchors us into something that is unmovable. And we live with great uncertainty in our lives from day to day as caregivers. We have no idea what's going to happen from one moment to the next, and we're struggling with this, and we're railing against, we're angst driven about it. And when we anchor ourselves back in this, it gives us pause.

It stiffens our spines. It reorients our thinking. Do you remember what Paul said when he said, do not be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Well, what does that even look like? It looks like saying a hymn like this, and reminding our spirits on why this is important. There is a Redeemer, Jesus, God's own Son. Okay, first off, there's an implication there that something needs to be redeemed, and that there is one who will redeem it. And then when you get to that, thank you, O my Father, the chorus, for giving us your Son and leaving your spirit to the work on earth is done. We're recognizing that work still needs to be done, but we're not left alone. What Jesus accomplished on the cross, it's on a cosmic level. It's even hard to describe how magnificent this is, but there's still work to be done, not work to save our souls. That was done accomplished through Christ.

Justice was paid. We were bought from sin at a precious price, but this world is still broken, and we are emissaries of a kingdom where it is not going to be broken, where it's not broken. It never has been broken in His kingdom, and we're emissaries now. We're ambassadors of that into this fallen world, and some of us may have to indeed be part of great brokenness.

And that's where we as caregivers come in, is that we're seeing this up close and personal. So how do we reconcile this with a good and loving God? Why would I even have a box of things that God has to redeem? Because I'm part of this. I'm part of this brokenness.

Gracie's part of it. We see it every day, and we see loss, and we see opportunities that we wished we could have taken part of, or things that could have happened differently, and it doesn't always work that way. But when we remind ourselves that there is a Redeemer, one who will come and make and restore all of this so that we will be like it says in Isaiah, they shall obtain gladness and joy. Sorrow and mourning shall flee away. And as I quoted from Revelation in the first block, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Well, there's an implication that we're going to be crying now, and we are. And we're going to be crying now, that we're going to be crying now. And we are, and we do. You and I both do. We know this.

And so does God. But here's the promise. And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, nor shall there be any more pain. Isn't that interesting, that that word there, pain. He didn't say there's not going to be any more disease. He didn't get disease specific. He didn't get those kinds of dysfunction specific. He just says there's not going to be more pain.

There's not going to be any more sorrow for the former things have passed away. So I love that hymn, and I would encourage you to download it today. Get it, you know, go to the hymnal and play it. If you could play the piano or the guitar or whatever instrument you play, pick up a flute. I know I've got my friend Lisa Williams over in Australia, who's a flautist.

She's been on the program. And Lisa, pick up your flute and play that today. And sing this. I don't care if you can sing or not sing.

It's okay. Just sing it and let it just flow out of you. And watch what happens when you get to that chorus. Thank you, oh my Father, you're going to get stronger. I promise you, you're going to breathe a little easier. Your heart's going to get a little bit lighter. Why?

Because you were doing what you were built to do. Praise Him in the midst of all of this. There is a Redeemer, Jesus, God's own Son. And I love that last line.

I mean the last verse, the third verse, He says, when I stand in glory, I will see His face and there I'll serve my King forever in that holy place. Thank you, oh my Father, for giving us your Son and leaving your spirit to the work on earth. And by the way, we're part of that work, till that work is done. This is Peter Rosenberger, Hope for the Caregiver, Hopeforthecaregiver.com. We'll be right back.

I'm Peter Rosenberger. And many years ago when my wife Gracie became a double amputee, she saw the importance of quality prosthetics. She saw the importance of a support team and people that could help her regain her life after losing both legs. And she had this vision of creating an organization that would help others do the very same thing while pointing them to Christ.

And for more than 17 years, we've been doing just that. We purchase supplies, we send equipment and we train and we send teams over to West Africa. We've been working with the country of Ghana, several clinics over there now, and each week more people walk because of Gracie's vision. In 2011, we launched a new program outreach to family caregivers. Drawing on my now 36 plus years as Gracie's caregiver through a medical nightmare, I offer insights I've learned all of it the hard way to fellow caregivers to help them stay strong and healthy while taking care of someone who is not. If you want to be a part of this, go out to standingwithhope.com slash giving, standingwithhope.com slash giving to help us do more. At Standing with Hope, we're reaching the wounded and those who care for them. Standingwithhope.com slash giving. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. If you want to be a part of the program, there's a little form out there. You can send me a note.

It comes right to me. Whatever's on your heart, whatever comments, questions, criticisms, keep those to a minimum. And whatever you got on your heart that you want to say, we'd love to hear from you. We're talking about redemption today in Christ our Redeemer and the box of things that God will have to redeem. Not that we're putting demands on God, but we recognize that those are things beyond our control.

And I've asked my longtime friend, Pastor Jim Bachman from Stevens Valley Church in Nashville, Tennessee, stevensvalley.church, if you want to find out more about them. He and I have been friends for a very long time, and he's pastored me through many dangers, toils, and snares as great stuff come. And so this is a conversation that's been ongoing with the two of us for many years over God working through these things.

And I thought, well, I'll just ask Jim to come on the program and share his heart and thoughts. What that really means is you've run out of other things. You got to go back to the bottom of the barrel again, right?

Well, it does have a cyclical pattern. But when I say there's a box of things that God will have to redeem, for us as caregivers, we look at disappointment on a regular basis. We all face disappointment as human beings, as a human condition. But when you're dealing with a chronic impairment and a chronic deteriorating situation, disappointment is a part of daily life. And if we hold on to that, it just festers at us. Now you've been pastoring for a very long time.

You've seen people that have struggled with this festering of resentment, whether it's in a caregiving environment or not, it still is debilitating. Talk a little bit about that. And what are your thoughts on this? Well, I've seen it. Yes, Peter.

And I've also known it. There's a difference, you know, when you experience your own heartbreak and disappointment, and I'm not really a caregiver as you would define it, but living in a fallen world, we're all going to suffer some something or some things that will give rise to bitterness, jealousy and envy and self-pity, et cetera. In my case, it was losing a job that was near and dear to me. In your case, it's caring for a wife that's been afflicted for, I forget how many years now, long, long, long time. Almost 40.

Almost 40. I don't know, Peter, I think it's the same answer to this issue as to nearly every other issue. And that is to, at the end of the day, to be great to be grounded in scripture, to have a relationship with the Lord that is authentic, where you can cry out to the Lord, complain to the Lord, even shake your fist at the Lord. You read Habakkuk, Job, and, you know, these unhappy books, we know about them, but we don't like to dwell on them. But these biblical writers, Psalm 73, you know, I was, my feet had almost slipped. I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. And they have no problems.

They have no health issues. I'm paraphrasing it, of course. And the Psalmist admits that he had just, his feet had almost slipped, which I interpret to mean he's ready to give up.

I mean, if this is the way God, if God takes better care of his enemies than he does his friends, maybe I'm better off being his enemy. But the whole Psalm turns about verse 16 or so, or 14, until I entered the sanctuary. Beautiful, beautiful thing when you think about it. Until I entered the sanctuary, then I discerned their end. And it's like, all of a sudden, I think that's the Psalm written by Asaph, who was choir director in a temple under King David.

Something happened. We're not giving the specifics, but when he entered the sanctuary, I assume that's in corporate worship, but it might've been, it might've been just by himself. And it's somehow or another, his perspective went from this horizontal, look at all of my problems and my suffering, to the vertical. And he discerned their end, inference being he discerned his own as well. And he realized that the prosperity of the wicked is fleeting, and the suffering of the righteous is fleeting, and God's going to make it right someday. Now, someday may be a long way off, and we're all so impatient that we want immediate gratification and immediate vindication and immediate relief from our suffering.

But having the long view and having the vertical perspective, I think that's the answer. I think that's the only thing I've ever found that's comforted me when I have felt like I was suffering wrongly, and like I want to shake my fist at God. So being grounded in the scripture and entering the sanctuary and having that relationship with the Lord. And what did Job say? Job said, though he slay me, I'll trust him.

I don't think it was easy for Job either. We were people before he was rather glibly, but I think that was a tough thing to say. I think there's an implication when you go into the sanctuary. And again, this is part of a long standing conversation you and I have had about the worship service and the worship act in that music and hymns. And if you notice, none of the hymns that last, that people request at their funerals and so forth, are hymns that commiserate. Nobody wants that.

They want songs that reflect that spine stiffening exaltation of God, despite whatever's going on. I was interviewing for last week, my friend, Pastor Rob Morgan. He was talking about helping his wife, Katrina. He lives there in Nashville.

I don't know if you've met Rob Morgan. I think he took care of his wife, Katrina, through MS for 25 years. She just recently died in the last couple of years. And as he was helping her to bed, her eyes were closed. She was not totally lucid. And he was helped lifting her there. She was very small and petite.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-18 09:03:11 / 2023-03-18 09:14:37 / 11

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