I don't know any caregivers who would disagree with me if I said we live on the edge. Maybe the first question would be, on the edge of what? I'm sure we could come up with some very interesting answers to that question! Personally, my thoughts can run along a treacherous edge, needing to always be pulled back to safer zones. And emotions can run high along a jagged edge. It doesn't take much to spill emotions out of our already, always full cup. Here's the good news, though: God is with us on all of our edges. He makes sure we can find Him. He wants to be sure we can see Him no matter what edge our lives are running on today.
In Exodus 13, God has just rescued the Children of Israel from Egypt's evil clutch. He's brought them out, and they have set up camp. I'm sure their senses and emotions were all on high alert as they had just left all they were used to and headed into the unknown. But in Exodus 13:20-22, it tells us that God guided them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. What a sight it must have been. They were camped on the edge of the wilderness, and God made sure they could see all the time. Better than that - He made sure they knew He was present all the time.
They were not yet aware that Pharoah's army was on the move. But when the enemy's army got close to the Israelite's camp, they were not afforded the same convenience. As a matter of fact, the cloud and fire became darkness to the Egyptians. (NLT) They couldn't even find the Israelites who were camping right beside them. Yet, God allowed the Israelites the benefit of seeing Him and knowing He was with them, even though they were squished between and army and the Sea. Man, does caregiving feel that way sometimes! We may often feel like we live on the edge of a sea that's ready to swallow us or on the edge of an army of emotions, thoughts, fears, you fill in the blank - that is ready to overcome us. But over and over again, God makes Himself known to us. Sometimes, it's in subtle ways; other times, it's in big, noisy ways. Either way and anyway in between, He is with us on all our edges.
Today, I will remind myself that God is with me. He did not pack up and leave while I was sick last week, and He's not going anywhere this week either. I'll remind myself of all the times I've felt squished between life's hard places and how He's been there every single time. I'll be thankful that He carries me as needed and helps me get through those tight spots. My meditations will be on His ever-abiding presence and the truth that He doesn't have a Get Out of Jail Free! card. Instead, He chooses to walk with me each step of the caregiving journey, no matter how difficult, edgy, rocky, sandy, dirty, or lonely it gets. He remains. So, today, I'll lean into Him and listen for His breath of life as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?