For Those Who Wait: Reflection on Psalm 38

Psalm 38

But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer. – Psalm 38:15

Making Deals on the Bathroom Floor

“God if you get me through this…I will never _______ again…” went my prayer as I sat on the bathroom floor. I had never felt so bad. All I wanted was the nausea to leave me, but until it did, the bathroom floor was my friend. Eventually, I got better, forgetting the “deal” I made with God! Continue reading “For Those Who Wait: Reflection on Psalm 38”

Psalm 36: Sin’s Whisper & God’s Goodness

Whisper of Sin

“Sin whispers to the wicked deep within their hearts…” – Psalm 36:1 (NLT)

Sin doesn’t just “happen.” Sin begins, not with an action, event, or shout, but a whisper. There use to be a commercial that started with, “When you want to get someone’s attention, you whisper.” If you have ever tried lowering your voice, rather than raising it, you know how effective whispering can be. Sin wants to get our attention and does so subtly.

Subtle Control

I know the Psalmist refers to the wicked, but I am not immune from the whisper of sin. Sin’s whisper takes a hold of my heart, creating a life of its own. Sin’s icy grip closes tight on my heart and I find myself “set on a way that is not good” (verse 4, NRSV) and my slow descent started with a whisper.

Sometimes sin whispers doubts, sometimes desires, bringing envy, fear, jealousy, greed, lust, pride, thoughts and attitudes vying for my attention and control of my life. If sin would make some kind of frontal attack, I would see it coming, and, hopefully, be able to resist. Sin comes in slowly and quietly, not announcing its presence. Before I am even aware, sin has a foothold in my life. I don’t consider myself wicked, but I have heard the whisper of sin.

Looking Up

I’m glad the Psalmist doesn’t end focusing on sin and the wicked. He raises his gaze and catches a glimpse of the vastness of God’s love. He sees God’s faithfulness, justice, and care. He recounts how God shelters us, feeding us from his abundance and great delights. He basks in the Fountain of life and the light by which we see!

The Psalmist desires that all who love God experience God’s goodness, asking God to pour out his love on all who love him, and protect them from the wicked…could I pray that God would even protect me from myself? Sometimes, I get in my own way and I trip over myself…

The Psalmist knows those who continue to listen to Sin’s quiet whisper will be set against those whose eyes are attentive to God. The wicked will continue to “lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots” never seeking to do good. Sin never takes a day off.

God has already dealt with those bent on evil. The Psalmist celebrates their defeat! We can move forward knowing God prevails! We can move live abundantly knowing that Love prevails!

Abundant Delights

Sin, however, will continue trying to get our attention. Throughout this day, sin will attempt to whisper in our heart, perhaps causing us to question the love of God.

May you remain attentive to God’s goodness that surrounds you. When those, who give into Sin’s seductive whisper, try to “push” you around (verse 11) or trap you in their “sinful plots” (verse 4), may you find shelter in God’s unfailing love, finding delight in the One who is our “fountain of life, the light by which we see.” (verse 9).

God has loved you deeply and continues to give you good things, blessing you over and over again. His love is deeper than the ocean and higher than the heavens. He continues to feed you from his abundance and delights.

May God’s presence be your joy.

Wednesday Morning Reflection – Psalm 68:19

Carried – A Reflection

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“Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms.” – Psalm 68:19 (NLT)

The Day Dawns

The alarm buzzes with an intensity that shakes me from a dream of better things. I sluggishly jump out of bed heading to the alarm, wisely placed twenty feet from my bed, making sure I am definitely awake before I can turn it off. Another day has dawned. When I get up, I am not thinking “praise the Lord.” I’m only thinking of turning off the alarm. I have no idea what this day will bring; good or bad, both or neither.

Daily Days

Even on the best of days, work remains undone when the evening comes. Much has happened, bringing me closer to my goals and, at times, moving me further away. Frustrations, joys, disappointments, excitement, despair, and unbridled hope coalesce into daily days. I can plan my day, but my day tends to plan me, or remind me that I’m not as in control as I pretend to be.

Endings

I come home at the end of the day and fall into the chair, thankful that the day finally fades into night. Some evenings find me content, knowing tasks were finished, challenges addressed, and plans created. Other evenings find me wondering what went wrong and what I can do to get back on track.

Captured and Carried

This verse captures me. I wonder about the Psalmist. When did David realize that throughout the day he was being carried? When did he recognize that through it all, whatever “it” might be, he was not walking alone, but actually being carried? Psalm 68 is one of deep praise. David saw the wonderful works of God, where I struggle to see.

David also realized that God worked in his life. He knew God was caring him each day. He carries me as well…and you. No matter what your day, no matter how good, no matter how bad, no matter how close you get to your goals, no matter how many things get in the way and keep you from your objectives, you are carried in the arms of God.

May this day be a day of praise as you remember you are carried in the arms of a loving God.

Peace,

David.

Morning Reflection 3/26/12 – Psalm 31

Psalm 31

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

1 O LORD, I have come to you for protection;
don’t let me be disgraced.
Save me, for you do what is right.
2 Turn your ear to listen to me;
rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
a fortress where I will be safe.
3 You are my rock and my fortress.
For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.
4 Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
for I find protection in you alone.
5 I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, LORD, for you are a faithful God.

6 I hate those who worship worthless idols.
I trust in the LORD.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love,
for you have seen my troubles,
and you care about the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not handed me over to my enemies
but have set me in a safe place.

9 Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am in distress.
Tears blur my eyes.
My body and soul are withering away.
10 I am dying from grief;
my years are shortened by sadness.
Sin has drained my strength;
I am wasting away from within.
11 I am scorned by all my enemies
and despised by my neighbors—
even my friends are afraid to come near me.
When they see me on the street,
they run the other way.
12 I am ignored as if I were dead,
as if I were a broken pot.
13 I have heard the many rumors about me,
and I am surrounded by terror.
My enemies conspire against me,
plotting to take my life. Continue reading “Morning Reflection 3/26/12 – Psalm 31”

Morning Reflection 3/23/12 – Psalm 30

A psalm of David. A song for the dedication of the Temple.

1 I will exalt you, LORD, for you rescued me.
You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
2 O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
and you restored my health.
3 You brought me up from the grave, O LORD.
You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
4 Sing to the LORD, all you godly ones!
Praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
6 When I was prosperous, I said,
“Nothing can stop me now!”
7 Your favor, O LORD, made me as secure as a mountain.
Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.
8 I cried out to you, O LORD.
I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
9 “What will you gain if I die,
if I sink into the grave?
Can my dust praise you?
Can it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me.
Help me, O LORD.”
11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!

via Psalm 30 NLT | YouVersion.

It’s good to look back to see where we’ve been. That’s what David does here. He has had many troubles, faced many enemies, and prayed many prayers of distress. In this psalm, the one for the temple dedication, he looks back and sees God’s mighty presence. The times he felt alone, he was not. The times he was powerless, he was not. The times when he thought God had left him, God had not. Life is easier to figure out in the rear view mirror.  Continue reading “Morning Reflection 3/23/12 – Psalm 30”