When the Psalms Become My Life
As part of the Lord Transform Me initiative we are reading 30 days of Psalms which started on August 19. It so happens that during this period my family and I are being attacked by persons who seek to destroy us with their tongues.
It all started with a desire to help a friend… now I’m not at liberty to disclose any of the details but I can now say that I completely understand how David felt when it seemed as though the enemy was closing in from every side.
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As I write this I remember the ditty I used to sing as a child when my feelings were hurt: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.”
Words hurt. Especially when they come from an unexpected source like someone you thought was a friend. Words. Really. Hurt. Especially when someone goes on a deliberate campaign to use words to misrepresent you and your family. Words can destroy. Especially when someone uses them to distort something that was done with the best of intentions.
Unkind words hurt. Especially coming from someone you thought was a friend.
Finding Strength in the Psalms
I find myself searching the Psalms for inspiration, for solace, and I pause when I find that David has said the very words that express how I’m feeling:
Lord how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me ‘There is no help for him in God (Psalm 3:1-2).’
I find myself rejoicing because Yahweh is a shield for me. He’s my glory and the one who lifts up my head. I know that when I call on him with my voice he will hear me from his holy hill. In that I find comfort (Psalm 3:3-4).
Yet I know I’m in a dangerous place because when I am hurt I tend to pull away from the person I believe caused my pain. In this instance, I am tempted to pull away from my friend even though I know that he needs my help…
Because I know that the same persons who are attacking me and my family are attacking him too.
Because they are attacking us through him, they are attacking him through us – it’s a vicious cycle. How do I find the strength to be a good friend when I want to curl up and lick my wounds?
Again I am reminded of David. How difficult it must have been for Jonathan to stand by his friend when he knew that it caused his father pain. How odd to be offering comfort knowing that the king – your best friend’s father – wants to kill you.
I remind myself that I can be angry but I should not sin (Psalm 4:4). I completely get it now. I understand why so many of David’s psalms seemed uncertain as he see-sawed between two opinions. On one hand, you want to give up and weep in despair because of the earthly enemies.
Sometimes their attack is such that you can’t even imagine yourself out of the situation.
But then you remember: it has nothing to do with you. You serve a mighty God – the great Yahweh and there is nothing that he cannot do. Somehow, just thinking about committing your ways to God gives such a sense of peace and sweet relief.
I’m awed that something written over two thousand years ago could still be so relevant… I’m honored that the Great King of the Universe wrote this beautiful love letter just for me. He wrote it for you too (smile).
We can rest assured that whatever we’re going through there is comfort, advice, reassurance, hope in the word.
Even if you don’t find answers you’ll find the heart of God and experience his love. It’s not too late – join our Lord Transform Me Facebook group for daily posts as we journey through the Bible one chapter at a time.
What are you struggling with? Find strength in God’s word.