Do you spend much time in the Psalms? One purpose of God’s Word is for it to be a comfort to us. But we don’t usually turn to Leviticus to find that solace. In times of deep distress, we perhaps can’t even think where to turn. In that turmoil, we may just open the Bible anywhere and hope that God speaks out, but this Bible roulette may have the opposite effect. Or maybe we just freeze, and don’t turn anywhere—abandoning God’s Word, that’s he’s given us to help us.
Crying out to God in our trials with our words is always good. So is crying out with our spirit when we can’t find the words to express ourselves. But there is another option, finding words that express our heart. Many times we can find those words in the Psalms. Many of the Psalms are prayers, crying out to God in times of trial. Times when enemies are harming, and seem to be winning. Times when God seems to be far away, and doesn’t see or care. We can feel those same things. And we can pray those prayers.
A few years ago when I was going through deep trauma in my life, I found it hard to read, concentrate on, and study the Bible much for a long while, yet 2 things kept me drawing near to God and in close relationship to Him. They were: continually crying out to Him, even when I couldn’t find words, and turning to the Psalms and reading, and praying the applicable parts as my prayers and heart cries to God. By praying the Psalms I would work through my pain and trials, but it would also bring me back to knowing that God loves me, sees and cares, and I can trust Him. He will see me through to the other side. He is trustworthy, and worthy of praise.
Read through Psalm 143. Are any of these words the cry of your heart? Pray them to Him. Then turn to another Psalm. And another. Find your comfort in Him and His Word.
Hear my prayer, O Adonai, give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, and in Your righteousness. Do not enter into judgement with Your servant, for in Your sight no one living is righteous.
For the enemy has persecuted my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me dwell in darkness, like those who have long been dead. Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is distressed.
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands. I spread out my hands to You; my soul longs for You like thirsty land.
Answer me speedily, O Adonai; my spirit fails! Do not hide Your face from me, lest I be like those who go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.
Deliver me, O Adonai, from my enemies; in You I take shelter. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.
Revive me, O Adonai, for Your name’s sake! For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. In Your mercy cut off my enemies, and destroy all those who afflict my soul; for I am Your servant.
This week, I art journaled verse 8 of this chapter. I may sound like a broken record, but Bible Journaling is not about creating beautiful artwork, although if you’re a skilled artist you may do that. But rather Bible Journaling is about anyone, everyone—YOU, regardless of talent, expressing your response to God’s Word in color and design. Your own creative expression. No perfection. No “beauty.” Just you expressing your heart back to God. (See more about Bible Journaling here.)
This expression is a simple drawing—out of proportion and perspective, no art skills or “pretty” to it, the only way I can draw. The drawing is with a Micron pen. It is “painted” with Tim Holtz Distress Inks and a water brush. The “wording” is Tim Holtz letter stickers.
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Living Coram Deo
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