Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. Daniel 10:12
For the last few weeks, our pastor has been preaching on Daniel. I have so enjoyed the series as Daniel is one of my favorite men in the Bible. Daniel was a man of God. There is no doubt in my mind that is so. Daniel was a man who had visions sent from God. Many of these visions were a prophecy of times yet to come. They had to be so very frightening, although his trust in God remained strong. He was a man of prayer, a man who waited patiently for the answer to his prayers. This amazing verse above speaks about the angel Gabriel letting Daniel know that the minute his prayer was uttered, it was heard. Daniel had been waiting and watching for an answer to his prayer for weeks. This verse speaks about a truth that is so comforting to me and any believer. This is a reminder to me that when we pray, our words are instantly heard just like with Daniel. I don’t believe we are generally aware of this but I know it is our hope. We suffer from impatience which lets doubt take hold. That doubt keeps us from fully trusting the Lord who knows all about us and cares about the things in life that cause us distress. It can feel like our prayers are not heard when we are in the midst of caring for one who is unable to care for themselves. My husband and I can attest to this feeling as we cared for my mom. Mom suffered from dementia, a result from a stroke. There was no cure, and it progressed quickly. She did have moments of clarity, enough so that she knew something was wrong. I remember one moment that happened during a church service. I had taken her to the restroom and was cleaning her up helping her to wash her hands, a task she had done on her own for most of her life. She stopped rinsing her hands, looked me in the eye and said: “I am worthless”. Tears came to her eyes and my own. How do you respond to that? I prayed a simple and silent prayer, “Help me God. I don’t know what to say”. Seconds after her statement she had forgotten what she said. The temporary intelligent light in her eyes was gone again. Prayers were said constantly while taking care of mom by myself, my husband and many others besides. Many of my prayers were silent and said at times of distress of which there were many. Did God hear? Did God care? I know he did. Every day he gave us the strength, the knowledge, and the patience to continue to love and care for mom. He also allowed for joyful times with mom for which I am very grateful.
Prayer is the connection between ourselves and God. There is assurance that, as in Daniel’s case, our prayers are heard the moment they are spoken. God is aware of how difficult it is to take care of the one who used to take care of you. He is aware of how scary and unending it seems. Even though it seems at times that we are waiting and waiting for that clear answer- we do not see the behind-the-scenes work that God is doing for our benefit and for the benefit of the one we love. Daniel’s prayer was answered, God was quite aware of what Daniel needed and he provided that. God will provide for your needs as well. Rest assured of that.
May God bless and watch over you as you go through the caretaker journey. I promise there is light at the end of the tunnel. God cares for you and your loved one and will give you the energy, strength, and patience you need.