" Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul".
Psalm 143: 8
This morning was full of turbulence and conflict as I struggled to get my daughter off to school. Tears were in her eyes and protests were strongly made as she built her case as to why she shouldn't have to go to school. Parenting is not an easy thing and oftentimes doing the right thing brings much heartache. Every child is different and in some cases I might have let her take a day off for repreive, but knowing my daughter's circumstances and her personality I knew this would only open a doorway to repetitive requests, surely to become a daily habit if I didn't take a strong but loving stance this morning. I also felt it was important for her to face her fears and troubles, rather than avoid them-an important lesson in life.
As I watched the bus leave I was filled with angst and uncertainty...and yes, guilt. I didn't know how she would be as she got off the bus and I longed to send her courage, strength and peace as she wandered down the hallways towards her classroom. One of the hardest things about being a parent is that we can't always be there physically with our children, even when we know they are struggling emotionally to overcome feelings of insecurity and fears. We just have to hope that we have built strong foundations in which they can stand and face life's continual assaults.
As I returned inside our house and my son turned began to play, anguish crept in and I could no longer keep my grief at bay. I poured out my heart to God and asked Him to send her healing peace and love. Thoughts and feelings clouded my perceptions and I knew I needed to get focused so I turned to where I oftentimes turn when I need to find some solace and peace...the Psalms. Above was a verse that gave me some encouragement this morning, and I'd like to share a few more that helped my heart feel more light and that gave me a renewed sense of hope.
Psalm 125: 1-2
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people,
from this time forth and forevermore.
Psalm 63: 1-4
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.
So I have looked uopon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
Psalm 62: 5-8
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God,
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
Praying the Psalms in times of emotional and spiritual exhaustion, in times of uncertainty and distress can be a transforming experience. It can give us the strength and direction to turn situations around. It helps take the focus off of our problems and puts our focus back on God. It reminds us of who God is...our rock, our refuge, our source of comfort, peace and salvation: our healer. It reminds us of the steadfast love of our creator and the deep hope that there is to be found in laying everything before His throne and trusting completely in His grace and Will.
In what ways do you turn to when the strong waves of life threaten to knock you off balance, seeking to steal your peace and focus off of God? Do you turn to liturgical prayer? The psalms? Meditation? Or perhaps some other way? Please share :)