The secret counsel of the Lord
is for those who fear him,
and he reveals his covenant to them.
Psalm 25:14 (CSB)
I take a deep breath and lean the handle of the mop against the counter top. I feel the stiffness and soreness in my shoulders and back from the vigorous scrubbing I’ve given the floor. I look at the clock on the stove and can hardly believe it. It blinks a mere 8:23 a.m.
How long ago did I wake to my seven-year-old’s urgent whispering to me, “Mommy, Mommy! Paw-Paw peed all over the floor!”? I rolled over in the gray morning light, hurried down the stairs, and stopped on the final step. The first puddles were under the window. Then I noticed a trail that trickled around — all the way around — the loop that connects the living room, kitchen, and dining room of the open-concept downstairs.
My father-in-law, who is in the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease, had wandered downstairs sometime in the middle of the night and fallen. Unhurt but unable to lift himself from a sitting position, he scooted around the downstairs in his overly-saturated nighttime diaper.
I woke my husband. He lifted, changed, and cared for his dad while I mopped. I washed the feet of my three early-rising daughters who had accidentally stepped in some of the mess.
We’re almost two years into full-time care-taking for my father-in-law. We’ve witnessed many losses of personality and ability. Several times we thought surely we were in the valley of the shadow of death. Yet somehow my father-in-law would recover to a new “normal.” For a time. We never know what to expect. There are many levels of grieving and frustration to wade through.
It’s only 8:23 a.m.. Deep breath.
My husband and I share a sad smile as he passes me to go clean himself up. I begin making his coffee. Coffee beans in the grinder, I press down and the churning and chopping begins. The thoughts, the temptations, come quietly now, like a blanket offering sympathetic comfort. But I recognize this scheme. If I let that “sympathetic blanket” drop around my shoulders, I’ll be weighed down with self-focus, not free to run my race this day like the Lord wants me to. I need my eyes fixed on Jesus.
I pray: Lord, I appeal to You. My God, I trust in You. I pour water in the coffee pot and ask the Living Water to pour Himself into me, for “No one who waits for you will be disgraced” (Psalm 25:3).
The tempter continues to try to wrap his blanket around my heart by directing me to the logistics of the day: It’s 8:23 a.m. and you’re already exhausted, physically and emotionally. You didn’t get enough sleep. Again. Now you have to rush to finish breakfast, nurse the baby, get all five kids dressed and to Bible study. No time to do your hair or makeup. You’ll look exhausted and ragged. Again. But it’s okay. Everyone will understand and empathize with you if they know about your morning. You can legitimately “quit” for the day. Puddles of pee and the entire downstairs mopped before breakfast is enough to justify this. Quit. It’s okay. You can quit.
I refuse to quit. Again. To surrender another day, or even part of a day, again. My hope is in you Lord — all day long. I wait for the other Voice I know will come. I preach to myself: In Christ alone my hope is found.
Light seeps in through the slatted window blinds onto the clean floor. I wait. I want the promise. I work on memorizing the words that speak life: “The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he reveals his covenant to them” (Psalm 25:14).
The Lord has taught me that to fear Him, in a practical and tangible sense, looks like obedience. Ordinary faithfulness. So I ask to receive: Please counsel me, Lord. His light comes in this thought: Pray to confuse people. As I obey His secret counsel — my hope is found.
So I pray: Lord, help me confuse people. No matter what my circumstances are, no matter what my feelings are, fill me so full with joy and peace that people have to question the Source. My hope is in You. Not in productivity. Not in enough sleep. Not in my own limited energy and ability. In You alone I trust.
This is a beautiful truth. If we fear the Lord, He will secretly counsel us. He will show us the way we should choose. May you embrace the peace that passes understanding as you wait for more of Him. No one who waits for the Lord will be disgraced.
This excerpt is by Elise Hurd, published in the (in)courage Devotional Bible and the Summer (in) the Psalms Devotional Journal.
We’re journeying through the book of Psalms this summer, and we hope you are too! Every Thursday, several of our contributors are hosting a video conversation about what they’re learning from a selected psalm. These conversations are so good for our souls and just plain fun! Listen in below as Becky, Robin, and Anna discuss what they’re learning from Psalm 25 (and the accompanying devotion).
Isn’t it good to study and learn and laugh together? A few of our favorite things right there! Are you journeying through the Psalms with us this summer? If you haven’t started yet, it’s definitely not too late! There’s plenty of summer left, and so many wonderful truths waiting in the Psalms. We hope you’ll join us.
Get your copy of the Summer (in) the Psalms 40-Day Devotional Journal for just $7.99! This beautiful printed journal, only available on Amazon, includes forty days of reading selections from Psalms, twenty full devotions from the (in)courage Devotional Bible, and daily reflection questions with lined pages for journaling your answers. This journal is an all-inclusive, one stop shop for your Summer (in) the Psalms journey!
May you embrace the peace that passes understanding as you wait for more of Him. #inPsalms2020 Click To Tweet