The Caregiver’s 23rd Psalm (God Will Provide)

The other day as I studied Psalm 23, I found myself rewriting it in the margin of my Bible from a caregiver’s point of view.  Caregivers and sheep have a lot in common.  They feel clueless, helpless, and vulnerable (ok, I’ve never asked a sheep if this is how they feel, but they don’t run around marking their territory and acting invincible).

caregiver's psalm

The Caregiver’s Psalm

God provides for me, a caregiver—he offers to meet my every need.
He provides food, time for reflection and rest (but all too often I forget to take what he offers).

He knows my quirks and indulges me because he loves me. I feel refreshed when I spend time with him—a deep-down renewal from the toes up.

I might not always want to go where he leads, because I often think that I know best. But I have to remember that his ways are better than my way—they lead to right actions and right living. His ways lead to a closer, more intimate relationship with him.

Sometimes the path he leads me down scares me to the point of rebellion and refusal because it looks too frightening; filled with worst-case scenarios and things I don’t think I can handle. So I take a deep breath and remember that he walks with me, ready to guide me each step of the way through what terrifies me.

Not only does he walk with me, he has gone before me and conquered evil. God has a plan that will use me and my experiences to help others understand his character and perfect love.

The hard times simply prepare me to love—even my enemies and the people who annoy me.

Your love acts as a balm to my ruffled feathers, Oh, God, and fills me with peace so that I can function. Your goodness and love infuse my life—making me fit for living as part of your kingdom and caring for the person you have entrusted to me.

I am the caregiver, you are the curegiver. No matter where this journey leads me, I know that you walk beside me.

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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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  • My son has raised sheep as 4H projects, so I can attest to the clueless, helpless, and vulnerable part, and I so appreciate your thoughts here, Anita. Psalm 23 has been dragged into so many venues that I’ve sort of stopped hearing it. Your words woke me up to the lovely truth that God is our caregiver — and especially able to minister to the needs of the caregiver.

    • I’m glad I’m not off on my description of sheep!

  • Julie Loos

    Anita- I’m thankful God walks ahead of me and gives me strength for the journey. This was a great phrase, “The hard times simply prepare me to love—even my enemies and the people who annoy me.” It’s hard to love others during our hard times. It’s a choice and it’s intentional!
    Great post and thanks for hosting the linkup!
    Julie

    • And thank you for linking up each week!

  • Melissa Haag

    “I am the caregiver, you are the CUREgiver.” Love that!

    • 🙂 (all too often I think I’M the curegiver :/ )

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  • It’s interesting to me that you write about the caregiver’s perspective being one of helplessness. Typically we think of that as the care receiver’s role. But you are right! It is how both sides can feel, even at the same time. He is the curegiver—I love this. Thanks, Anita.

    • I know, right?! When we’re being cared for, we feel helpless, too. But, boy, oh, boy, have my caregiving stints made me feel inept, out of control and totally helpless (but that’s actually not a bad place to be, because it sends me to the One who can actually provide help!).

  • Anna Smit

    This is so beautiful, Anita. I recognized so very much of what you share here: the not understanding, the learning to let go. And the helplessness: YES! That is probably THE one emotion that was most powerfully present as I cared for my Mum and then suffered from caregiver PTSD.

    This was so my experience: “Sometimes the path he leads me down scares me to the point of rebellion and refusal because it looks too frightening; filled with worst-case scenarios and things I don’t think I can handle.” But rather than taking deep breaths and trusting, I cried out in angry lament…but God met me there too, incredibly so. Later, readying for therapy, I had such a moment again, not wanting to trust…but then the day of my therapy He took me to Song of Songs 2…and I knew then that He was calling me into healing.

    Thank you for rewriting this Psalm in your own words…it is a balm to my soul.

    • I’m glad it resonated with you, Anna!

  • Amanda Farmer

    that is beautiful. thanks.

  • I love how you’ve rewritten this Psalm, especially this line: “I am the caregiver, you are the curegiver.” It is so important to remember that we can’t fix it all but that we have to look to God.

  • I love every part of this, Anita. Especially the parts where we forget to take what we need, think we know best, or focus on the worst case scenarios. Oh yes! So, so grateful that we have a shepherd who cares deeply for us, chases after us, and speaks into our lives so that we know His voice.

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    And the person who annoys you the most may be the person for whom you’re caring…

    There is nothing wrong in this, unless it’s fought from a sense of pride (“I’m BETTER than this!”) I can irritate the heck out of Barbara, and I know it. My job is to try not to, and her job is to lay her feelings in God’s outstretched hands.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/09/your-dying-spouse-209-flickering.html

  • Susan

    Ok, working in Chrome. YAY. Love this quote: I am the caregiver, you are the curegiver. No matter where this journey leads me, I know that you walk beside me. xo

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