A New Journey
I’m not exactly sure when it was, but at some point, probably over a decade ago, I wanted to know the book of Psalms better.
The Psalms cover all of life’s experiences and emotions. There are beautiful Psalms, tragic Psalms, Psalms of desire, Psalms of confusion, and even some Psalms that seem like they shouldn’t even be in the Bible (Psalm 137, which, by the way, is pretty close to Psalm 139). Knowing the Psalms can help unlock the Bible, drawing you in deeper.
I had a few of my favorite Psalms, like Psalm 23, Psalm 91, and Psalm 42, but I wanted to know more. The Book of Psalms is the Bible’s prayerbook, and I wanted that book to influence my life, so I started on a journey. I had no idea the blessing of trying to “get the Psalms into me” would be.
I started reading a Psalm daily (although I took a few days to get through Psalm 119). I started doing some reflections on this blog. If you search for Psalms on this site, you will see that.
Around seven or eight years ago, I realized reading a Psalm daily wasn’t “getting the Psalms into me.” Then a thought struck me. No one is watching me. No one is asking me if I was reading the Psalms. No one cared. Why was I rushing through this book? It wasn’t an assignment. It was a heart journey.
Reading a Psalm daily, I could read through the book of Psalms in 150 days or so. I did that for a few years, so I was able to read through the book several times, but I still didn’t know the Psalms. Since reading the Psalms wasn’t a race, I could take my time..so…I decided to do just that.
That’s when I started reading the same Psalm every day for a week. This plan would take me 150 weeks to read through the Psalms (that’s three years for those who don’t like math). I would read the Psalm but also read through part of a commentary entry about that Psalm. At some point, a friend of mine, Curt, decided to join me, and we were both reading the same Psalm for a week.
By both of us reading the same Psalm, we had something to talk about. Then we COVID hit and we had an idea.
Life’s More Fun with a Friend
During COVID, we decided to record our conversations about the Psalm we were reading, and our Youtube series, “Pondering Psalms,” was born! We wanted the show to be accessible to everyone and somewhat fun. We would joke and laugh but also be amazed at this wonderful book in the Bible that everyone seems to love but doesn’t really know that well. We wanted to help people know it better. We would record for two hours, but the show was only 20 minutes or so. At some point, we decided to add some outtakes at the end.
You can see all those videos and a few others covering Luke, Ephesians, and the start of Genesis at http://ponderingpassages.com. Just click on the “Watch” link. The newest ones are first.
We stopped recording because I wasn’t feeling up to doing the recording. Curt was great and had already taken over the editing part, but it was still too much even with that.
I write all that to point you (and encourage you) to take some time to read the Psalms! Two days ago, I was reading Psalm 5, and these verses jumped out:
What a beautiful prayer! Because of God’s unfailing love, we can enter God’s presence and worship with deepest awe! I really love verse 8 because it’s a cry to be led in the right path.
Instead of us trying to find our way through life blindly, God desires to lead us. Many times, we just aren’t interested. While we may not believe we have “enemies,” John reminds us in his Gospel (John 10:10) that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Yes, we do have an enemy who wishes us harm!
Jesus tells us in that same verse that he has come so that we might have life…life abundant. We rush around day after day, looking for or trying to create abundant life. Yet, abundant life only comes when we allow God to lead us in the right path.
As we follow, abundant life begins to materialize…slowly, it seems…over time…as we follow in trust. Where does the peace of God come from? It comes when we realize God’s not out to get us, but out to love us in incredible ways, so no matter what we face, we face it with confidence, joy, and peace.
I believe reading the Psalms has helped me to see that. It’s impossible for me to tell you everything I’ve learned, so I encourage you to start your own journey. The best time is now.