July 2

by Pastor Judy

Today, I find myself very weary – probably because I lost a couple nights of sleep recently — and also because of a whirlwind of recent activities and the emotional investment that it required. But mostly it’s because the news cycle is very dark right now. I don’t need to list the events; you know them as well as I do.

 So – what do you do when you are discouraged?

 Well, some things help. Rest and sleep, for example. A spouse, family member or friend who understands and gives you a little extra loving care. Music, books, nature – there is healing in these things as well.

 All this helps but it doesn’t address the underlying situation. Finally, I need a bigger perspective. I need to see more than what the news tells me, or even what I can draw up from my own reserves. I need God – and I need to hear his Word. In these times, I tend to turn to the Psalms.

 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;

    my soul thirsts for you;

my flesh faints for you,

    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

 The subtitle of Psalm 63 tells us that David wrote this in the wilderness (or desert). Yes, I think: that’s where I am. The descriptive words call to me: thirst, faint, dry and weary. In a place where there is no water. I can resonate with David.

 2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,

    beholding your power and glory.

 Even in the wilderness, I can remember other places where God has met me, particularly in church, where the music, words and prayers reveal God’s power and glory. Here we remember – together – what God has done. And that wider picture gives me hope again.

 3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,

    my lips will praise you.

 The Hebrew word, here translated “steadfast love” is chesed. Perhaps you have heard other translations, like “lovingkindness.” Think on those words for a moment. Not just “love,” but “steadfast love.” It’s the never-giving-up kind of love. Enduring. Persistent. Or “lovingkindness” – not just kindness. The pairing of words multiplies the meaning of each. God’s chesed is multi-dimensional. It covers me and comforts me like a beautiful and warm quilt.

 4 So I will bless you as long as I live;

    in your name I will lift up my hands.

 Yes. And as I do so, he again floods my soul and feeds my spirit.

 Thank you, Lord.



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