I spoon-fed my mother the other day. It was a strange experience, and, to be honest, it was emotionally difficult for me. It served as a stark reminder that our roles have reversed. The one who cared for me is now being cared for by me.
In November, my mom, after having lived with my wife, Agnes, and me, moved to a nearby retirement home. The transition was difficult, and we were hoping that Mom would adjust quickly; however, this hasn’t been the case.
Mom’s mind and body are in decline, and every day brings new challenges for all of us. Many days, she dissolves into tears and says, “I have lived too long!”
I am a fixer and optimist by nature. I have seen God do so many miraculous things, healing, restoring, and delivering people.
The vast majority of my Momentum articles are about exciting in-breakings of God’s Kingdom, supernatural healings, dynamic conversions, and happy endings.
In this situation, I feel so helpless. My prayers for my mom are passionate, compelling, and filled with faith, but God has not responded in the way I had hoped. Instead, He is calling me to adjust my expectations and embrace weakness, both mine and my mom’s, as a posture from which His grace is magnified. Caring for my mom is teaching me in a fresh way that I need to depend on the grace of God.
Mother Teresa wrote, “I don’t think there is anyone who needs God’s help and grace as much as I do. Sometimes I feel so helpless and weak. I think that is why God uses me. Because I cannot depend on my own strength, I rely on Him twenty-four hours a day. If the day had even more hours, then I would need His help and grace during those as well.” Mother Teresa’s powerful admission of deep dependence on the grace of God is a compelling call to people like me who have high expectations, are performance-driven, and want to fix everything. It is okay to stand in my weakness and let Jesus love me! In fact, in this place, I experience the greatest anointing and power.
The Apostle Paul expressed this dependence when he wrote about the thorn in his flesh. Three times he pleaded with the Lord to take it away, but, according to The Message paraphrase, God said to him, “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” Paul continued, “It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size – abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 The Message).
Perhaps as you are reading these words, your heart is heavy because there is a limitation, a situation that you cannot fix.
Stop trying; let Christ’s strength move in on your weakness. Let Christ take over!
I sat with Mom today, and I held her hand and let her share her frustrations, fears, and disappointments. I didn’t try to fix it; I just kept saying in my mind, “Jesus is enough!” Before I left, I held her close and prayed for God’s grace to fill her with hope. I smiled as I left her room; she is still teaching me.
Her weakness reminds me of my own. There are things in life that we cannot fix, but in these situations, God’s grace enters in and reveals the power and strength of Jesus. Thanks, Mom; you are still my hero.Download the PDF’s: English | French | Chinese
Dave Hearn is the President of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. He has held C&MA leadership positions at local church and District levels. He served as District Superintendent for the Canadian Pacific District from 2005 to July 2012. He loves spending time with his family, and he’s passionate about living on mission fearlessly.