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You Can't Push A Wheelchair With Clenched Fists

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
May 19, 2024 10:21 am

You Can't Push A Wheelchair With Clenched Fists

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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May 19, 2024 10:21 am

There’s nothing quite like caring for someone with challenges or impairments to expose the gunk in one’s soul. Regardless of our best intentions, when selfishness rears its ugly head, our jaws can quickly tighten—and our fists clench.

As a pianist, my hands must always remain open to make beautiful music. As caregivers, what kind of music do we forfeit when resentment curls our hands into fists?

Try pushing a wheelchair with clenched fists. (Not with your loved one in it—use an empty one!) It’s challenging to do so. Clenched fists accomplish few tasks; it seems fighting is the only suitable task for them.

Caregiving will push all our buttons. People who tell you differently haven’t done it long enough. Yet, in those moments when seeing our character defects, we can remind ourselves to unclench our fists—and hearts—and allow beautiful music to flow from our souls.           [AV1]  

 

Let it hurt. Let it bleed. Let it heal. And let it go. —Unknown

 

 

 

  [AV1]

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Welcome to Hope of the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

This is Peter Roseburger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. We're so glad that you are with us today. How are you holding up? How are you doing? How are you feeling?

What's going on with you? Are you able to speak in your own voice? Are you able to speak from first person singular? It doesn't matter what follows the word I, as long as you have that word starting, now we can have a real conversation because we're talking about you. Okay?

That's the rule here. We talk about, to, and for the family caregiver. And we do that because that's how caregivers get healthier. We get it out. We talk about it. And healthy caregivers make better caregivers.

All right, those are the ground rules. Healthy caregivers make better caregivers. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. Glad that you're with us. Did you know that there is nothing quite like caring for someone with challenges or impairments to expose the gunk in one's soul?

What a statement. There's nothing quite like it, is there? I mean, you do this for a long time. I've had people say, oh, I just, it's such a privilege, such an honor. I just love doing it.

And it's great. And I'm thinking, you ain't done this long enough. You do this for a couple of decades and you will see the honor and you'll see the privilege, but you will also understand, wow, this is a sanctification opportunity here because there's a lot of stuff in us that doesn't need to be there. It's not helpful. It needs to come out. But the way God squeezes things out of us is often through suffering in very, very uncomfortable places.

And I'm glad to see it. I'm glad to see it done, but I don't enjoy the process. You know, I really don't. And if anybody tells you that they do, I'll let you figure that out for yourself. Regardless of our best intentions, and we all have them when we start out with this thing, certainly we have the best intentions. When selfishness rears its ugly head, our jaws can quickly tighten and our fists clench.

Does anybody here know what I'm talking about? You ever just have those moments of selfishness and it just rears its ugly head? Yeah, we all do. And it may come in a very innocuous way. Maybe you just want to watch a television show uninterrupted for an hour. Maybe that's it. And you just want to sit down and be still with your own thoughts. Maybe you'd just like to finish one project uninterrupted. Maybe you just want to take the night off.

Maybe you just want to call in sick. There's all kinds of things that will precipitate selfishness rearing its ugly head, but it'll come. And when it does, we get an opportunity to see the things in our soul that really are not very helpful. And that I would suggest to you, according to everything I've read in scripture, that God wants to deal with. He wants to deal with those things. His grace covers a multitude of sins, but He's not interested in just covering it. He's interested in dealing with it.

And that process in theological terms is called sanctification. We don't like to talk about that, but that's what it is. There are things in us that He doesn't want there, because they're harmful, because they're dangerous, because they're toxic. And He's going to deal with it. You belong to Him. He's going to deal with it. He has the right to do it. He purchased us.

That's the way it works. He purchased us with a great price, scripture says. We were bought with a great price. And who He purchases, He purifies. And who He purchases and purifies, He also preserves. So hang on to that, okay?

Hang on to that, because we will go through these things. Switching gears, you know I'm a pianist. I periodically go to the caregiver keyboard.

Well, how do I play the piano? I cannot do it with clenched fist. I can't. I've tried it.

It doesn't work. I remember Jerry Lee Lewis would bang on a piano sometimes with his feet or with his fist pounding it down just for dramatic effect, but he wasn't making music. He was just beating on the piano. The left hand may have been making music. The band may have been making music, but he was just slamming the piano with his fist. But we cannot make beautiful music with a clenched fist as a musician. I mean, as a pianist, you can't do it. Or you play any instrument, trumpet, harp, clarinet, anything. Whatever you do, you cannot do it with your fist clenched.

And it's the same way with being a caregiver. What kind of music are we forfeiting when resentment curls our hands into fist? Now, somebody said, well, Peter, I've never done that. Well, okay. Give it time. You will.

You do this long enough and you will. Okay. I mean, I'm not here to argue the point with you. I'm right. My experience trumps opinion.

Four decades of this has taught me, this is what's going to happen. It's the human condition. It's not because I found the secret here. It's just that it's the human condition. It's what scripture shows. Even the best of intentions are worthless.

Okay. We cannot trust our own righteousness. We cannot trust our own intentions because they are selfish in nature because we don't understand the nature of our sin. Well, God does.

And he will bring things in to expose that so that we can deal with it. If we learn to repent, Martin Luther said, we don't even know how to repent. Well, we have to repent of our repenting. You know, we don't realize the magnitude of what original sin means and that that's the bad news. But the good news is God does and he's dealing with it and his grace is sufficient, but we're not to suffer along this stuff stupidly. We're to learn from it. We're to grow through it.

We're to recognize, oh, that's what that is. I can't play the piano with clenched fist. Guess what? You can't push a wheelchair with clenched fist. You know, try it yourself. Go out and push a wheelchair with clenched fist. Not with them in it. Use an empty one. But you can't do it.

It's not going to happen. What good do clenched fists do? What are they designed for? Well, it seems like fighting is the only thing that's suitable for clenched fist. There's not much else you can do with a clenched fist except fight. Caregiving is going to push every one of our buttons. Okay? Every one of them.

And buttons we didn't even know we had. It's going to do it. And anybody that tells you differently hasn't done it long enough. Okay? Just hang on to that. I don't want you to be caught unawares on this. This is going to happen. You're going to lose your cool. You will become vexed on a level you didn't even know you could reach.

It's going to happen. But in those moments, when seeing our character defects, we can remind ourselves, this is what I want you to, hang on the fact you're going to be disappointed. Hang on to the fact you're going to lose your cool. Hang on to the fact that it's going to be just ugly stuff coming out of you.

But also hang on to this. It's in that moment when you see that, that's when you can remind yourself to unclench your fist. Unclench your heart. And allow beautiful music to flow from our souls.

And you're not going to be able to do that alone. You have to lean on God for that. And you say, Lord, I see this. I see it.

Go back and spend some time in the seventh chapter of Romans and see Paul talking about this. Lord, I see this. Who could save me from this body of death?

Okay? You're going to see these things, but see them in the light of His glorious grace as an opportunity to go deeper, to walk a little calmer, to be a little more humble about our shortcomings, and a little bit more grateful about His marvelous provision of grace. When we see those things that really trouble us, remember this quote. Let it hurt, because it will. Let it bleed, because it will. Let it heal, it will. And let it go, because we must.

Let it hurt, let it bleed, let it heal, and let it go. That's how you avoid pushing a wheelchair with clenched fist. And that is hope for the caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger, hope for the caregiver, hopeforthecaregiver.com.

We'll be right back. You've heard me talk about Standing with Hope over the years. This is the prosthetic limb ministry that Gracie envisioned after losing both of her legs. Part of that outreach is our prosthetic limb recycling program. Did you know that prosthetic limbs can be recycled?

No kidding. There is a correctional facility in Arizona that helps us recycle prosthetic limbs. And this facility is run by a group out of Nashville called CoreCivic. We met them over 11 years ago, and they stepped in to help us with this recycling program of taking prostheses and you disassemble them. You take the knee, the foot, the pylon, the tube clamps, the adapters, the screws, the liners, the prosthetic socks, all these things we can reuse and inmates help us do it. Before CoreCivic came along, I was sitting on the floor at our house or out in the garage when we lived in Nashville, and I had tools everywhere, limbs everywhere, and feet, boxes of them and so forth. And I was doing all this myself and I'd make the kids help me.

And it got to be too much for me. And so I was very grateful that CoreCivic stepped up and said, look, we are always looking for faith-based programs that are interesting and that give inmates a sense of satisfaction. And we'd love to be a part of this.

And that's what they're doing. And you can see more about that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. So please help us get the word out that we do recycle prosthetic limbs. We do arms as well, but the majority of amputations are lower limb.

And that's where the focus of standing with hope is. That's where Gracie's life is with her lower limb prostheses. And she's used some of her own limbs in this outreach that she's recycled. I mean, she's been an amputee for over 30 years.

So you go through a lot of legs and parts and other types of materials, and you can reuse prosthetic socks and liners if they're in good shape. All of this helps give the gift that keeps on walking. And it goes to this prison in Arizona, where it's such an extraordinary ministry.

Think with that. Inmates volunteering for this. They want to do it.

And they've had amazing times with it. And I've had very moving conversation with the inmates that work in this program. And you can see, again, all of that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. They're putting together a big shipment right now for us to ship over. We do this pretty regularly throughout the year as inventory rises, and they need it badly in Ghana. So please go out to standingwithhope.com slash recycle and get the word out and help us do more. If you want to offset some of the shipping, you can always go to the giving page and be a part of what we're doing there.

We're purchasing material in Ghana that they have to use that can't be recycled. We're shipping over stuff that can be. And we're doing all of this to lift others up and to point them to Christ. And that's the whole purpose of everything that we do. And that is why Gracie and I continue to be standing with hope. standingwithhope.com
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-19 12:07:23 / 2024-05-19 12:12:32 / 5

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