Who Cares for the Caregiver?

Who cares? As we saw in the first blog, we were born to care according to God’s creation plan (Genesis 1:26-28). It is who we are and what our Lord designed us to do. That’s how we live out the image of God in which he created us. When we care for others, we act like our Creator and do his will. But caregivers also need care at times.

To care for caregivers, it is important to understand a caregiver’s needs. What role do needs play in caring for caregivers?

God Designs Care to Meet Needs

Needs can be complex. Every need we experience is uniquely God-designed. Our Creator makes no mistakes, not even in planning to meet our needs. Neither does he make two needs or their solutions alike.

As we saw in part 1, God sent Joseph into Egypt. The brothers thought they sent him. After all, they kidnapped him and sold him to slave traders who took him to Egypt. But Joseph corrected their misunderstanding; he explained that God not only sent him, but also orchestrated every detail according to his sovereign plan.[1] God’s plan was to care for Joseph’s brothers as well as the entire nation of Israel hundreds of years later (Genesis 50:20). From this passage we learn that only God can plan care with fail-safe outcomes that override all wicked human intentions.

Those Who Need Care Must Want It

Although Joseph’s brothers did not ask for his care, Joseph saw his brothers’ needs as requests for care. That’s how we should understand caregivers’ needs. We should view the needs of caregivers who are suffering in their care for others as silent pleas for help. But how can we get them to receive our care if they are reluctant? Caregivers want to succeed at their God-given roles. But they may need care so that they can, in turn, care for others.

What can we say to caregivers who are stressed, exhausted, and ready to give up? Some already may be in deep and dangerous distress.

Encourage care. Many caregivers refuse care because they don’t think they need it. But when they reach the end of their ability to fix their own problem, they cry out in anger to God, worse yet, they consider giving up. Unwise decisions like this are unnecessary. Churches—not the buildings but the people—were made to care. We must be gentle but bold in advising weary caregivers to receive care. They may need help in accepting it.

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