I started reading Psalms again this morning. I had just been skipping around lately, not really sure where to begin, not having felt connected or moved by scripture in some time. I’m not exactly sure how that happened, but I just seemed to have lost it a couple weeks ago, and have been reading maybe 2 sentences from half the books in the New Testament before moving on to something else. Prayer time has not gone well, either. And to add to that, I’ve been struggling with a lot of old…”dark thoughts,” I believe they’re called.
So this morning, I just flipped through my Bible to psalms, and it opened at Psalm 23. I read that first, and then 24. Then I got to Psalm 25, and read no further. I read it, and read it again. For your convenience:
1[a] To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
2 in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.
4 Show me your ways, O LORD, (should have been
teach me your paths; praying this all along)
5 guide me in your truth and teach me, (ibid!)
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth (how easily I forget God does this)
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you are good, O LORD.
8 Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, O LORD,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great. (most important of all, to me)
12 Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD ?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
13 He will spend his days in prosperity,
and his descendants will inherit the land.
14 The LORD confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the LORD,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart have multiplied;
free me from my anguish.
18 Look upon my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
19 See how my enemies have increased
and how fiercely they hate me!
20 Guard my life and rescue me;
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope is in you.
22 Redeem Israel, O God,
from all their troubles!
So, for what it’s worth, I heartily recommend Psalms, when you’re struggling with freaking anything. Especially with prayer. If you don’t know what to pray, or how to pray, that’s Psalms, man. They’re meant to be prayed. Sung. Shouted, even….
hopefully, this morning is the beginning of something really good….I’m tired of struggling. Not that struggling is going to end anytime soon. I could use a bit of rest, though. But even if I don’t get it, God is still good to me. I guess the better thing to pray for would be to get through whatever I’m struggling with. Not have it taken away. Then I wouldn’t learn anything….