Many caregivers feel like they are living life in a cave. There can be a sort of forced solitude that comes with caregiving. Personally, I was living my best life, working 3 jobs, socializing with a new church family, and preparing to go to Africa when it was all jerked out from under me. I found myself suddenly in the back of a dark cave, totally separated from the social life I was accustomed to. It didn't get any better soon, either. In some ways, I felt like life jerked me up by the collar and pulled me away from being a people person, shoving me into the back of a dank, dark, deep cave to figure things out for myself.
Maybe all that is why I love Psalm 31 so much and why I find myself returning to it so often. David wrote this psalm from the back of the cave. God had anointed him as king, so he had the promise of better days ahead, but for the moment, he found himself crouched down and hiding in the back of a cave. He didn't mince any words about how he felt. David used phrases that are taboo in some "faith" circles. He said he was grieving, weak, forgotten, fearful, and broken. (Psalm 31:9-13) It brought such freedom to my soul when I realized that if David could be frank and honest with God about how he felt, so could I.
God gets us.
He can see us even when we are sitting in the back of a lonely cave or lying there in the fetal position, hoping for some sort of normalcy to return.
At the same time David was voicing his feelings and pouring them all out before God, he declared that he was going to continue trusting God. His thoughts were still running along the lines of there remaining hope with God and He stated that God knew him - even in adversity, literally "adversities" plural! (v. 7)
This is what I love about God, He doesn't pack up and leave when life takes a rugged turn, the path before us disappears, or we find ourselves sitting in the back of a dark, emotional cave. We can still trust Him. We did not get there for lack of faith, but the cave is a measure of faith in an odd way. Avoiding the cave isn't faith - but continuing to look to God and trust Him from the back of the cave - is faith.
Today, my declaration is still that I will trust God. Like David, I'll remind myself that God still has goodness stored up for those of us who fear and trust Him. My thoughts will be on how He is the God of hope, the Faithful God, and the One who is going to continue carrying me through the messes of life. I'll just take a few minutes to enjoy the truth that He is still in my here. I believe I can trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?
Book of the Week!
The book of the week for this week is 31 Days in Psalm 31. I found myself returning to that Psalm over and over. It brought so much encouragement and I found so many scriptures that were meditation-worthy, I decided it was a good topic. David wrote this psalm while in a cave hiding from Saul. Since much of my caregiving life feels like it's lived in a cave (we talk about the caregiver's cave a lot!), it seemed appropriate. You can get a Kindle or print version in my Amazon bookstore. Or you can download an eBook from my DFM bookstore.