I know. It has been a couple of weeks since I posted a blog, or even a devotional, but a move (and technical difficulties!) have made it more difficult to get to the website. I have tried to keep posting, on the Facebook page, as a way of encouraging each of us. I need to figure out how to connect the website to the Facebook page so posts here go there easier. We all love technology!!
Meanwhile......... I would like you to think about John 15:1-5 especially verse 4: "Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." (NIV) Caregivers are constantly giving to others - the care receiver, our jobs, our families (even when they live in another state) and to help friends. We need to remember where our strength comes from. We need to stay connected "to the vine."
I know it is difficult to find "time" to be alone with God. I know how difficult it is because it is a continuing daily battle for all of us. In some ways it was actually easier while I was the caregiver for our Dad. He understood my need for time in God's Word and then with my needlework. Now it is easier to say "tomorrow...... I will get to it tomorrow." Or even, and I hear this a LOT(!), it sounds like a wonderful idea.
Jesus is telling us how important it is. He "remains in us" and we really need to "remain in" Him. So.... Caregivers, how are you doing with this? Can you find a way to be in worship AND have time, by yourself, with God - in God's Word? Yes, it is difficult - but like my friend Isaiah says God has us in God's hands - but we CAN do this!
Are you wearing red today? Today is Pentecost Sunday -- red showing the Holy Spirit. I will be wearing red - a bright red "cover up" I use as an "over shirt." I love Pentecost. It is the reminder of God fulfilling God's promise - Jesus had promised "I am going to send you what my Father has promised;" (Luke 24:49) This is a confirmation of God - 3 in 1 and 1 in 3. This IS Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
It is also a wonderful reminder of Emmanuel -- God IS with us - as we travel this journey of life and care giving. God's strength can help us when we are tired but have to finish "a couple more things." God's Love can flow through us when we have nothing left to give. God's Spirit can sustain us as we keep running into road blocks, obstacles, detours and sudden roller coasters of emotions. We can know God IS with us even when we can't really "feel" God's presence.
We can, like the Disciples, be "all together in one place" (Acts 2:1) but the blessing of God's Spirit is we can also be having our own God time. We need to be taking the time, with God, in both ways though. We need to be "coming together" and having individual time with God. "More time(!)" in already full schedules but somehow everything gets done. Some how we survive the roller coaster -- with God's Spirit giving us strength and peace.
This week is full of crazy emotions. I am saying "good bye" to this appointment and preparing for the next appointment. I am saying good bye to people who have become wonderful friends but I am also looking forward to where God is leading into this new ministry. In with all of the up/down emotions are the other preparations -- sorting, packing, cleaning. In all of this I can feel God with me like my friend Isaiah says - holding me by the hand and IN God's hand. (Isaiah 41:10 & 13)
Do you feel God with you? Can you celebrate the Holy Spirit?