That famous line from the Beatles’ song Help, is pretty good advice to follow for anyone involved in Long Term Care. Whether you are a paid staff member, family member or volunteer, the needs (and sometimes demands) of the people far outweigh our ability to meet them. The Bible puts it this way –
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
God helped me to learn this while struggling to find ways to serve communion at the nursing home. With 20-25 residents coming to our services, I decided that we needed people from our church to pass out the elements. The only problem was that everyone was working during the week when we had the meetings, except for one retired couple who came only once. Every week, the director of the recreation department told me that the aides would be happy to pass around the cups and communion crackers, but I kept turning them down, waiting for someone from our church to help. I was like the guy in the funny story about the flood, who prayed for God to rescue him. When a 4-wheel drive vehicle pulled up to his porch he turned them away, saying that God would come to his rescue. As the waters rose, a speed boat stopped at his second-floor window with the same offer but again he turned them away. Finally, up on the roof-top a helicopter hovered overhead and lowered a sling, but he waved it away. At the end the man drowned and as he entered through the heavenly gates, he stopped and asked God, “I’m so happy to be here but why didn’t you come to my recue?”
At this the Lord smiled and gently said, “My child, I sent a 4-wheel drive, a speed boat and a helicopter. What more should I have done?”
I am sure you have probably heard that story many times and yet when we are faced with asking for real genuine practical help, in long term care situations, we often hate to ask for help just like that man did. It took me a year to accept the help the staff offered. I was so amazed to discover that when I did, not only did my load get lighter, but that the residents were delighted! Of course, I don’t know what situation you are facing, but whatever it is, we need to remember that God’s answer might just be a little different than our expectations. He loves to bundle the help that we need up in the most unusual packages. God’s help for me included young health aides smiling as they passed out communion. What does the package He is holding out to you look like today?