Monday, March 10, 2008

Psalms And Other Hugs From God

Going through an exceptionally challenging season in my life. It feels like there isn't an aspect of my life that isn't being tested, broken, refined or reconstructed. From my personal walk with the Lord to children to siblings to marriage to health to home to friendships to service I am called to. One of the things that is making me sad is that I don't have my funny right now. I do not feel funny. I am tired. So tired. I want my funny back. In the meantime, I will share these pieces of hope with you. Hope found only in the One True God.

I am meditating on Psalm 1 and it has been a challenge for me to take in what it has to say about a godly life. Specifically I will share with you verses 1-3 and my thoughts on this section. In the NLT translation it says this:

"Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers. But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about his law. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper."

Of course I group myself in with the godly. I have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Therefore, the blessings apply to me. Right? Well, hold on. It says they bear fruit in each season without fail, their leaves never wither, in all they do, they prosper. I thought, "Wait. That's not true...I do not bear fruit EACH season WITHOUT FAIL. I do have withering leaves. I do not prosper in EVERYTHING I do." So I had to go back... What this scripture is saying to me is those who do not follow the advice of the wicked [ever], or stand around with sinners [ever], or join in with scoffers [ever], but they delight in EVERYTHING the Lord wants; DAY AND NIGHT they think about His law - THESE people have the unfailing blessings described in verse 3. That would not, in fact, be me.

Now don't freak about me being too hard on myself and all that. I know there is no one righteous. No not one; that I will never be perfect and that Jesus paid the price for my shortcomings. However, God does not waste words. He wants me to strive for the ideal and He tells me clearly what could be lacking when I am not seeing the fullness of His blessings.

God also is a merciful, personal, loving God. And while I am going through all this muck in life and He is shedding light on my true heart, He is loving me in such personal ways. For example:

Directly across from this Psalm in my iWorship Devotional Bible is Psalm 3:3-6, "But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain. I lay down and slept. I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side." Can you say, "Big fat hug from Daddy"?? Every day when I am re-reading and pondering Psalm 1, I also get this sweet comfort from my Father.

That's not all. No. I received an email from a very dear woman who I have never met in person. She reads my blog. Much of my current muck is not blogged. She told me that God has been prompting her to pray for me for the last two weeks. She knows that something is going on in my life, but she doesn't know what. So she wanted me to know that she is praying for me. Can you say, "Big fat hug from my Daddy"?? That He cares so much about me that He would lay my struggles onto a sister in Christ (who I am guessing knows just how to pray for me even though she doesn't know - you know?)- HEY! Was that funny? A little maybe.

Advice: Don't shy away from the work, if God brings you to it, He'll bring you through it. My son gave me this Scripture - Genesis 50:20, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done..." not full verse (that's his little notation :0) *sigh* dreamy.

Our ladies Bible study will not meet the week following Easter so, in worship, we are focusing on the resurrection a little bit early (according to the calendar year). Here is what we will be lifting up tomorrow:


His Girl said...

i love that big fat hugs from Daddy are coming at you from the right and the left, and that you (who i happen to know is not really a hugger) is letting Him in... to touch your soul (when you are normally private and guarded)... to purify your heart (even though you normally like to keep that to yourself) and to love you so well during this valley season.

I love this for all the obvious reasons, for it is beautiful to see on you, but also for the fact that it spills over into your life and your relations- I see you letting people in even though you risk being hurt, exposing your feelings, even though you could be betrayed, and laying "it all out there" even though you could be judged.

I believe that you are allowing all these things because you know that even though we all will hurt you, disappoint you, and betray you, that you are sustained by a God who will never, ever do that... and that shows that you are growing into such a lovely example of someone who is a sinner, saved by grace, and who is working out her salvation one day at a time.

and for me, that is just plain beautiful & inspiring.

Becky said...

Your blog title was perfect...a tangible reminder of His great love for you. Beautiful.

I can think of so many occasions in my own life where the Psalms have been a tremendous source of comfort and security. It's usually one of the first places I turn when I'm feeling low, or in a bit of a crisis. I love that David was a man went through a little of everything that most folks could deal with during their lifetime...war, grave sin, interpersonal relationship much, and yet left this remarkable legacy of putting his trust in the Lord...leaning into Him when times were hardest even when it meant a broken and contrite heart. And the beautiful thing is, that just as he was a man after God's own heart, we can be women after God's own heart.

An honest, beautiful post, S4J.

mel said...

That the LORD of the Universe would choose any of us to be His is truly a wonder. We can be truly humbled (and even speechless!) at the work He has done and completed just so we can be in relationship with the Father. And while we are not perfected on this earth, His work is, and positionally, we stand before the Father totally righteous because of Jesus' work on the Cross. Amen!

'nuf preachin'!! The Psalms are awesome as a balm on your soul! Hang out there a while! 8-)

Shauna said...

Oh, S4J, I don't know the muck you're wading through, but I am praying.

Jenster said...

Do you have any idea how truly awesome you are? Truly! And do you understand how much I love the fact you've allowed God to use your vulnerability to speak to me and everyone else who read this post?

Big fat Daddy hugs are the absolute best.

When I was going through my valley I was given a book called "Moments of Peace in the Presence of God". It's a daily devotional with nothing but Psalms. Each and every day in the book was perfect.

Prayers for you, dear friend.

Gretchen said...

I'm so glad that God's love is palpable to you as you go through this season. I'll be lifting you up. xxxooogretchen

Jenn said...

Thank you for being vulnerable enough to show us what God is using to teach and love on you with in His word.

I enjoyed reading all the comments that others left you - these too are all hugs from God.

Still praying!

Alana said...

I think it is amazing how God blesses us through this world of blog. I am continually blessed, challenged, and loved on by women I've never even met. I love that!