David’s psalms have a flow, especially the ones where he’s hurting or scared–he goes from helpless to hopeful before the last note sounds. Sometimes the rhythm changes, but they have a variation of these elements (more or less):
- This is my now.
- This is how I feel.
- This is who You are, God.
- And I will praise You.
In anyone’s life, the now and the feeling will change. But God does not.
Reading through Psalm 23, I grab these words (a noun, and many verbs): shepherd, gives rest, leads, renews, guides, protects, comforts, prepares, honors, pursues. He is an active God, even when it seems he is far off. I watched David wrestle with that in Psalm 22.
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
2 Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief. Psalm 22:1-2, NLT
I deeply appreciate his honesty and vulnerability. How many real-life examples offer up this intimate glimpse into their hearts?
Here’s the story I’ll tell my friends when they come to worship,
and punctuate it with Hallelujahs:
Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshipers;
give glory, you sons of Jacob;
adore him, you daughters of Israel.
He has never let you down,
never looked the other way
when you were being kicked around.
He has never wandered off to do his own thing;
he has been right there, listening. Psalm 22:22-24, The Message
In my walk with the Lord, even the daily stuff, I can keep it simple. I can say, “God this is my now, and this is how I feel.” I can clutch his word and hold it up to him and declare, “This is who you are, and I will praise you.” It is how to hold hope in the midst of helplessness.
Thank you, Lord, that you are right here, listening.