I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the people. For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. |Psalm 108:3-5,|
I love the book of Psalms. It’s one of my favorites. I try to read a new psalm every morning as part of my daily routine. The Psalms are so full of heart. They are raw, and they are real. They are easy to relate to because they talk about heartbreak, depression, loneliness, courage, strength and celebration. The Psalsmists depict more of an interest in how something feels rather than what something means, so reading the book of Psalms requires me to read with my heart not my mind. Though it can be challenging at times, I remind myself that it is God who dwells in my heart; surely he will relay the messages to my mind which is so full of worldly perspectives.
A man named David wrote many of the poems in the book of Pslams. David was the boy who slaid the giant with just a slingshot and a stone. After the death of Saul he was the anointed king of Israel. He was a man after God’s own heart because God knew he would do everything he wanted him to do (Acts 13:22). Oh to be like David, full of favor, full of faith. Then again, David was also a terrible sinner. He was an adulterer and a murderer. His enemies chased him into the darkest valleys where he hid in caves feeling lost and hopeless.
I relate to David in many ways. I relate to David not because I was anointed queen or because I recently returned from a safe zone in a cave, but because David lived a life of success and failure. He lived a life of joy and sorrow, strength and pain. David’s life is a timeless example reminding me that I am far from perfect and life here on earth is entangled with obstacles, challenges and temptations. Above all, I relate to David’s soul cries and praises because he was fully aware God had control over his life and fully believed in his deliverance.
I can only imagine how David felt when he killed Goliath and then again when at a place of complete turmoil he said to himself, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me (Psalm 42:5)?” There are some days I feel like Maria Von-Trap skipping through the hills alive with the sound of music. On those days no one and nothing is strong enough to drain my tank of happiness. Some days I feel like Chuck Noland in Cast Away, completely lost and stranded. On those days I understand why he befriended a volleyball — feeling lost and confused can lead to some crazy thinking. Other days I have all the feels parallel to the ending of The Notebook. On those days I feel full of love yet heartbroken for the things lost. Some days turn into more days and more days sometimes turn into seasons. Ups and downs, twists and turns.
Success. Failure. Joy. Sorrow. Strength. Pain. Temptations and celebrations. They’re all felt in the heart. They’re all emotions and influencers of how my life is lived. I have to come to learn those feelings in the heart are gifts, even the heaviest of feelings. My Maria Von-Trap days and my empty three tissue boxes end of The Notebook days are all gifts. They’re all gifts because I know the hands from which they’ve been delivered. I know the name my praises glorify. I know the arms that hold me in the pain. I know the light that pierces the dark. I know the redemption of the one who forgives. I know the shepard who guides me. I know the voice of the one who loves me. The feelings in my heart are gifts because they open up the love and faithfulness of my God.
We live in a imperfect world and we all are imperfect people designed with the ability to feel and express emotions. I find it’s always comforting knowing we’re never alone. We’re never alone when we tap into our best Maria and sing about our favorite things. We’re never alone when all we feel we have in life is a lifeless friend named Wilson. We’re never alone ever through anything because God’s love is great. It reaches to the heavens and his faithfulness reaches to the skies. And if his love can reach the heavens it can reach into the hellish messes we find ourselves in. If his faithfulness reaches to the skies it can reach in the mere mud and muck we sluggishly trek through.
We don’t need to be perfect because God isn’t looking for perfect. God is looking for us to embrace our humanness through faith and repentance and praise. May we all be like David — in our success and failures let us praise the Lord among the nations. Let us sing his praises among the people and let his glory be over all the earth. Let’s be men and women after God’s own heart.
From one to another,