For Better or Worse
For better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part. Promises made for a lifetime. My husband has certainly had opportunity to uphold his end of the bargain.. As soon as we received the cancer diagnosis, my husband stepped into the caregiver roll. He selflessly ensured that every one of my needs were met, putting my care above his own. Even now, 7 years later, nothing has changed, he’s never stepped out of that caregiver role for a moment. It’s a comfort and a security I know I can count on but only recently realized just how much I depend on.
A few weeks ago, my husband had surgery himself. For several days he was very much the patient and I considered it my honor to care for him just as he cares for me. As the days went on it became clear to me that I really had no idea how much he really does to care for me. Maybe I didn’t notice. Maybe I took it for granted. But while he was down and out it became abundantly obvious that I owe him mad props for the husband that he is. So many times, I started to call out to him for help, only to remember that he was currently unavailable to come to my rescue. The most prominent instance was one evening while taking the dog out. It’s a toss up each time we go outside with little Miss Molly on whether or not we need to go with or without a leash. She loves to run and we love to watch her run, but sometimes if she picks up an animal scent, it becomes impossible to get her back inside. With Jim’s surgery, she and I had mostly been leashing it so that we could hurry back to Daddy, so this particular evening I decided to let her run for a bit. We opened the French doors and off she went like a derby horse out of the gate. She ran the fence line from one side of the yard to the other and just when I thought she was ready to come back in it happened. That doggy nose picked up a scent and off she went underneath the deck. I called and called her and like the good little girl she is, she reappeared just a few moments later with a dead squirrel in her mouth!!!! Of course, I immediately began screaming for my husband until I remembered he was laid up with an ice machine hooked to his foot and couldn’t possibly come, I would have to handle this myself….
Have you ever felt helpless? Like you needed someone to come to your rescue. Maybe you just wanted someone to care as much about your needs, your worries or your struggles as you do.
These feelings tickled at my heart while my husband was out of commission for just a bit. God created us to be in fellowship with himself and each other. We are commissioned to care for one another, meeting the needs of others as we are each gifted to do. Scripture is clear in this matter; “do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others,” Phillipians 2:4. However, we can’t be everything for each other. We would be hard-pressed to find any man or woman who can meet every one of our physical, our emotional and our spiritual needs. Only one can do that.
Jesus is the ultimate caregiver. As I saw my own dependency on my sweetheart, God opened my heart to remember my dependency on Him. I can truly do nothing without Him, this I know. I walk around sometimes thinking that I am doing things in my own strength then I look back to the scared and worry scarred girl I was before Christ and I recognize the truth.
Now, I know that at times the word “dependent” ranks right up there with "diet and exercise." We know it’s there but sometimes want to fight it. But I promise these are good things. Depending on God’s strength instead of our own means, we are never ever helpless; “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillipians 2:4. Being dependent on God means we have a savior; “For the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10. And dependency means that there is always someone who cares about us, our needs, our worries and our struggles; “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7.
Yes, I depend a lot on my sweet husband, and I pray he knows he can also depend on me. But I find such peace in knowing that though our own imperfections will often let us down, we have a Savior who never will. Marriage vows are promises made for life. Jesus is a promise made for eternity.