Posted by: rcottrill | March 21, 2018

God Will Take Care of You

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Words: Civilla Durfee Holden Martin (b. Aug. 21, 1866; d. Mar. 9, 1948)
Music: Walter Stillman Martin (b. Mar. 8, 1862; d. Dec. 16, 1935)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: American, Walter Martin, was Civilla’s Bible teacher husband. The story of the writing of this hymn can be seen on either of the Wordwise Hymns links, or on the Cyber Hymnal link. Some idea of the popularity of the song is suggested in Hymnary.org’s note that it is found in 340 hymn books.

Being a caregiver is a noble endeavour. Though the term itself has only been around for about forty years, the duties involved are as old as human history. There are trained professionals who do the work. But most families, at one time or another, will face the responsibility of caring for an aging parent or spouse, or a disabled relative in the home.

If it’s for a short time, perhaps as the individual recovers from surgery, that is one thing. But if the understanding is that it will likely continue indefinitely, possibly for a number of years, that’s quite another. In an institution, care can be shared by many, and assignments filled in shifts, allowing breaks for each worker. But in the home it may fall mainly to one individual to do it all.

It’s never easy. When the one being looked after is a parent of the caregiver, there can be a kind of roll reversal, with the child supervising mom or dad. This isn’t always well received. Others in the home, whether spouse or children, may begin to feel neglected. And there can be an economic drain which will put a burden on the family.

Responsibilities often tend to increase over time, requiring more energy and the acquisition of new skills–until the one cared for needs attention twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Even the most loving and concerned person can’t cope with that for long. The care giver can reach the point of burnout.

Experts identify several symptoms which can possibly indicate this condition.

¤ Free-floating anxiety and nervousness
¤ An irritable overreaction to minor nuisances
¤ Consistently feeling tired and run down, yet having difficulty sleeping
¤ The development of new or worsening health problems

In the face of these things, consideration may have to be given to institutional care or other options.

In the Bible, a great deal is said about care giving, especially as it applies to God’s care. Early in his life, David distinguished himself by slaying the giant Philistine, Goliath (I Sam. 17:1-54). But the lavish praise and attention he received stirred up insane jealously in King Saul, and he tried to murder the young man on several occasions.

After one of these times, we see David hiding in a cave, calling upon the Lord for refuge and help. We can hear the painful anguish in his words as he cries, “No one cares for my soul!” (Ps. 142:4). But God did care, and not only preserved him from the hateful king, but eventually placed him upon the throne of Israel.

In the New Testament, there are two different occasions when individuals fretted that maybe the Lord Jesus didn’t care about what was happening to them. One concerns the safety of His own, the other is a matter of service.

When the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee, and a great storm arose, they awakened Jesus, who had fallen asleep, saying, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mk. 4:38). And of course He does care–beyond all else, for our eternal safety. That’s why He came to this earth (Mk. 10:45).

And when Jesus visited in the home of Mary and Martha, Mary sat listening to His words, while Martha bustled about preparing a meal. Finally the latter became irritated that her sister wasn’t helping, and she complained, ““Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” (Lk. 10:40). Again, He did care, but there was the matter of priorities to be considered (vs. 41-42).

Both our safety and our service are under the Lord’s watchful eye. He cares. So, “cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you” (Ps. 55:22). Cast “all your care [anxiety] upon Him, for He cares for you” (I Pet. 5:7; cf. Ps. 27:10).

In 1904, Canadian hymn writer Civilla Martin produced her lovely gospel song on that theme.

CH-1) Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath His wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.

God will take care of you,
Through every day, o’er all the way;
He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.

CH-2) Through days of toil when heart doth fail,
God will take care of you;
When dangers fierce your path assail,
God will take care of you.

Questions:
1) Why is it Christians so often lose sight of (or doubt) God’s loving care?

2) Sometimes, we can be the instrument of God’s care in the life of another. Is there someone you could help that we this week?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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