Which Path

the young strong guys carrying Chris in his chair down the stairs at my sister's house

 Each day presents many paths, and we get to choose which one(s) to walk. Some things are given, right? We will care for our loved ones meeting their needs often before (or instead of) our own. We'll cook, clean, do laundry, work, and of course, have coffee. Those are givens. The one big choice to be a caregiver supersedes and commands all these smaller choices. We don't even have to think about them for the most part. They are just part of our days. We got on that path already, and we just ride life out from there. We don't get up every morning and wonder if we'll be providing care for our loved ones. We just do it.

But we can choose some paths. And the freedom of being able to choose can help us oftentimes keep our attitudes in check. Here's what got me thinking along these lines.

This morning, I was reading Psalm 142. In verse three, David, who just happened to be writing it from a cave according to the subheading, says this. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path. (NKJV) He goes on to elaborate on his emotions by saying, They have secretly set a snare for me. Look on my right hand and see, for there is no one who acknowledges me; refuge has failed me; no one cares for my soul. I may not say it just like that, but I sure feel it like that sometimes. 

Social isolation is a real thing for caregivers. Even if we can get out some, there can be a lot of anxiety. I often feel like we stick out like a sore thumb, and I never know when we do make plans if the facility is accessible or not. We've run into a few tough ones, which often discourages me from going out at all. Forget choosing any path - I'll just stay home. Lol.

But our emotions can travel down paths too, especially for those of us who feel alone or have inadequate support or help. Caregiving, as beautiful as it is, can be a cold, lonely walk that no one seems to understand. But God sees the path of our emotions. He sees the paths of our thoughts. And He is not afraid to meet us on those crazy, winding, dark paths. 

David goes on to say in verse 5, I said, You are my portion. That's a path choice, right there. He decided to cry out to God. He chose to praise God in the middle of the soul prison. He purposed to praise God from the back of the cave. That is where true freedom lives.

Today, I will try to look past the cave and the darkness of the path and focus on the light of God's word. My meditations will be on how God is with me in the cave and on the path. I'll remind myself that God knows the paths my thoughts and emotions will take even before they head out. I'll turn my thoughts to God's goodness even in the dark times. His righteousness, even when I feel less-than. And His presence even when I feel alone. I purpose to praise Him from the back of the cave and trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?


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