You Can’t Cure Anyone

youaren'tthecureDear Friend,

The weight of anxiety over a friend or loved one who needs your care may have pressed the last dredges of flavor from your life. You may find the strangest things make you cry (coffee commercials, for example) at the oddest times (during a staff meeting).

You may shake your head (or your fist) in frustration over circumstances—the glacial movement of insurance company decisions or the light years it takes to schedule an appointment with a specialist when the one you care for needs help YESTERDAY.

You might wake up each morning filled with self-blame because NOTHING you seem to do makes any apparent difference in the life of the one you love. The plumped pillows, folded laundry, rides to appointments, phone calls made—none of them seem to matter to the one you slavishly pour yourself out for. If only you tried harder, you think, my friend or loved one wouldn’t be in this condition.

Or perhaps you’ve given advice to a girlfriend in crisis—and she never seems to take it and always lands back in the same crisis. Over. And. Over. Again. You might find yourself reacting with impatience to yet another plaintive plea for advice from a hurting friend. If only my friend or loved on tried harder, you may think, he or she would be well by now.

And so you suffer in silence because you either aren’t doing enough, or the one you care for doesn’t do enough—whatever the case, you feel worn out, frazzled, at your wit’s end.

Jesus offers rest for your weary soul. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28 (NIV).

Come and ponder the miracles mentioned in the New Testament: The man born deaf and mute who received his hearing and the ability to speak (Mark 7: 31-35); the blind man who received his sight (Mark 8:22-26). Jesus did curing. Each miracle involved spit and touching and contact with knotty problems that no human had the cure for.

Jesus didn’t just perform miracles of physical healing—he also cured ailments of the mind and the soul: the woman accused of adultery (John 8:1-11); Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2). Once again, Jesus did the curing—the deep healing of a troubled soul desperately in need of a Savior.

Remember that, my friend. Jesus did the curing. No plumped pillow, cleaned house, medicines administered, words of wisdom spoken or prayer offered will CURE another person. But don’t stop doing the wonderful things that you do—after all, Jesus calls you to care. He rejoices when you help someone in need by offering emotional support or physical acts of service.

But he doesn’t call you to be the cure. You may leave that burden at his feet. He will cure in his time (not yours—although I understand the urgency with which we want results) and in his way (even if it’s not the way WE would have done it).

So lay down your burden of curegiving*, my friend. You are the caregiver. Jesus is the curegiver. (tweet this)

Take a look around you and notice the infinite care he took with creation. Each feather, each flower, each fawn testifies to the care of the Creator. Someone else already figured out the cure.

Refresh yourself in God’s perfect love. Breathe deeply and exhale until you have no breath left before breathing in again. You are NOT the curegiver. But you were created to care for others.

So you do your job, and let God do his.

*This concept of ‘curegiving’ comes from the book Christian Caregiving: A Way of Life by Kenneth Haugk. I heard this revolutionary concept (sure we all know that we’re not the cure, but so often we lose sight of the fact when we’re in the throes of caregiving) during a staff meeting during an inservice at my school.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Wow, I love how you mention that the miracles Jesus did involved spitting and touching, contact with knotty problems. This is encouraging to me as I so often don’t think I get the words right that God wants me to speak….knotty problems….I am going to have to meditate on this today. Thank you.
    Kortney recently posted…Would you do it for one?My Profile

  • Girlie, I just love your heart! Yes – we are care givers – He is the Cure Giver! I love that!
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted…The Slow Unwinding Gift of Island TimeMy Profile

  • What a great post. We have just now entered the “almost back to a new normal” stage after my husband’s stem cell transplant to treat multiple myeloma. I know you read my blog this morning but you might be interested in going back to read the one I posted last week on “A Godly Slap.” http://www.nancyholte.com/blog/2014/07/a-godly-slap/

    When I saw the topic of your blog I simply sighed knowing you know what it’s like to be a member of the club you never wanted an invitation to. Thank you!
    Nancy Holte recently posted…Common MiraclesMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by, Nancy :). You’re right, I did enjoy your post on Godly slaps (and I love NCIS). I’m glad you’re entering the almost back to normal stage–some times I wonder if ‘normal’ really exists ;).

  • I hope I can remember that the next time my sibling lashes out at me and then goes back to ignoring. It is so painful, but I can’t just stop caring. Thank you for the phrase-no I can’t cure anyone.
    Sarah Donegan recently posted…He Chooses YOU!My Profile

    • Never stop caring–and I’m so glad we don’t have to cure! Praying for your hurting heart as you care for others.

  • I gotta share this with some dear caregiving friends. Thanks for this.

    Hey, I want to introduce you to someone. My friend Carly writes over at http://coloradoostomy.com/

    You guys have the caregiving thing in common, and also Jesus. I also just think you’ll get along. I’ll send her your way, too!

    • Thank you for stopping by, Beth. I found your friend Carly–what an inspirational story! Thank you for ‘introducing’ us :).

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