The movement of my fingers flicking through the pages of my Bible to the book of Psalms is, more than often, slow. I love the Psalms, but recently, my wanders to those songs of praise, lament and prayer have often either been driven by a desire for comfort in a sad, troubled season of my own, or a guilty return to something familiar in God’s word after stretches of drought in my quiet times.
And yet, no matter how far my heart has felt from the desire to actually sit and be still before Jesus, these are the truths that have met me in the Psalms time and time again, year after year.
I say to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord’;
apart from you I have no good thing…
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
You have made my lot secure.
(Psalm 16:2, 5)
I love you, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold…
For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
(Psalm 18:1-2, 31)
Blessed be the LORD, for He has wondrously shown His steadfast love to me.
He spoke, and it was. He commanded, and it stood.
Send our Your light and Your truth; let them lead me!
I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will ponder all Your work,
and meditate on Your mighty deeds.
How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
My song longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God…
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.
(Psalm 84:1-2, 10a)
In the beginning, You laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of Your hands.
They will perish, but You remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing You will change them and they will be discarded.
But You remain the same, and Your years will never end.
Many times He delivered them, but they were rebellious in their purposes and were brought low through their iniquity.
Nevertheless, He looked upon their distress, when He heard their cry.
For their sake, He remembered His covenant, and relented according to the abundance of His steadfast love.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.
I sometimes feel myself dragging my feet through the door when it comes to reading the Bible, but the Psalms usher me into the palace with the warm welcome of a Father who first sings His song of relentless, reckless love over me before inviting me to sing and speak His praises. It’s for this reason that the Psalms have accompanied me through every season of my life – through my devotions during high school, on lonely, homesick nights in my Parisian studio, through busy stretches of ministry and church growth, through anxiety-ridden university semesters, in soul-nourishing conversations with friends over coffee, in heart-to-heart conversations with my parents while sitting on their bed, and all of the places in between.
I love the Psalms, because their words speak and sing of the eternal God who is King over all and yet loves my fleeting, fickle heart. I am full of iniquity, disease, in the pit, deserving of anger, sinful, like dust and grass, fleeting. But He is Forgiver. Healer. Redeemer. Steadfast. Merciful. Satisfying. Renewing. Righteous. Known. Slow to Anger. Abounding in Love. Remover of Sin. Father. Compassionate. Everlasting. Lord. King.
O LORD, our God, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!