I’ve been in those places many times. I don’t know why, but I know that life is messy and confusing and painful.
Christ is the only constant. He doesn’t shift and sway with the wind. He is faithful. True. Trustworthy. Even when we are broken, He mends. He holds us close to himself. His character is the character of God. He was and ever has been. It’s important for me to remember that when I’m looking at the Psalms—when I’m looking at the poems of King David—I want to be cognizant of the truth: God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. From the beginning they were in this together.
Psalm 34. A beautiful psalm by King David. A psalm for pain and fear and confusion and uncertainty.
I’ve marked up that psalm—I have dates etched into the pages representing times I prayed using that particular verse. Sometimes I read God’s Word and I feel His Spirit talking to me, urging me onward, deeper.
A truth: when you or someone you love is suffering— suffering as in 1 Peter 4:12: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” In the original Greek it means “burning ordeal.”— suffering as in a “burning ordeal” that seemingly has no answer and you or your loved one has absolutely no control over the event, words seem trivial and inadequate.
Lift up your head. Help is on the way. And He won’t pass you by. . .
Psalm 34 again. These words sung to the Lord by King David after facing possible death, show the character of God. Of Jesus. Here is a link: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2034&version=NIV *Please note that in the link, the “poem” or psalm is described as an acrostic poem using the letters of the Hebrew alphabet! Cool.
Here’s what I do when I really need to see God’s/Jesus’s character: I dissect the verses and find the descriptions. It’s easy because of the way the Psalms are written. When I dissected these verses in Psalms 34, I found this:
God delivers (3x’s)
God hears (2x’s)
God is good
He is close
I wrote that list in the pages of my journal to meditate upon and grapple with. When He seems far, His Word says He is close. When I feel overwhelmed and frightened, He surrounds. When I cry out “Why?”, He hears. There is comfort. There is peace. There is rest.
Lift up your head.
For my sister and her family. May God’s closeness surround and embrace you.
Amen. Please watch and listen to Audrey Assad sing, “Breaking Me”–worship.
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