Today's daily devotion

The Wilderness

. . . Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.—ISAIAH 35:6 [NIV]

In 1997, my wife, Martha, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She was 50 and our three children were still in school. Martha’s first reaction to this news, after a hard cry, was this: “I don’t want to tell anyone! Not our children, not my family and not my friends!” Our world hadn’t merely turned upside down; it had imploded.

But Martha would talk with one person—Lacy, a retired minister and friend. He encouraged us to visit his friend, a nun with the Sisters of Loretto in Kentucky. “She listens deeply. Her gift of discernment is rare.” So we went.

At the end of our relaxing visit, this nun told us, “Your main calling now is to trust that you belong to God. And to deepen your love for God and between yourselves.” From that visit, a spiritual path unfolded over the next 17 years that we could not have envisioned.

As we trekked through this wilderness, mentors arose seemingly from nowhere. After Martha could no longer walk or talk, I came to sense that she, our children, and I were loved by God in ways not felt before. I learned things that changed my life. I learned to step into Martha’s world. I learned to ask for help. And no matter how frustrated, I finally understood a friend’s advice: “Carlen, be gentle on yourself.”

Our Father, thank you that as Jesus received your life-bestowing gifts while in the wilderness, so can we.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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