Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
his name is the Lord;
exult before him!
5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.
6 God settles the solitary in a home;
he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
but the rebellious dwell in a parched land. Psalm 68:4-6 ESV Emphasis mine
I love these verses because they so clearly paint a picture of my God as Strong Protector who cares for the vulnerable and heartbroken. His tender mercies sing to my storm-tossed heart and shine light and hope. Yesterday, I climbed into my van and as I looked out the front window, streams of light were slanting from illuminated clouds. I looked again just to ascertain if the casting light was real. The rays were visible and the sky shifted in light and shadow. God’s truth is visible in such beauty-pouring out unending truth and light. I catch my breath at the memory- the moments when the glory of His handiwork are more than I can take in and my whole self pauses just to try.
This day, the day that I am writing my post, a dear friend has received full guardianship (after many (4-5) years) of two children she has been caring for: fatherless children with a mother who was terminally ill with an unusual lung disease. The mother is at rest with the Lord this day and the sweet children will now join my friend’s family in full. Over these last years, as the mother weakened, my friend and her family assumed more and more of their care. When I think of God setting the solitary in a home, I see this ill mother who was cared for tenderly by my friend and her family. I see these precious girls… who long before, already had a home prepared for them- as my friend and her family painted and decorated bedrooms and in every way- they have prepared for these girls so that they would know the full love of God and family in this grievous transition. My friend served, cared, and loved this mother and her two daughters and now these daughters join her family as beloved as her own.
Verse 6 God settles the solitary in a home;
And I am reminded of the heart importance of a home and quickened to strengthen my hands, my heart, and my vision and do the good work of creating and developing mine to be one of welcome, beauty, love, goodness, and order. I think the order might be the hardest part for me, but I am trying and determined to continue on. Things that were difficult when the children were small have taken on a completely new shape. I pray the Lord help me to do the things I do not like to do but are so needed to bring that peace. I pray I recognize the holiness and preciousness of home and the ministry available through one.
19 Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation. Selah
20 Our God is a God of salvation,
and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death. Psalm 68:19-20 ESV Emphasis mine
As I struggle with many things in this season, I am comforted by these verses. I want to rest myself in the Lord who will daily bear me up. My salvation and My deliverance. Can I let myself be small in His midst and feel the strength of that bearing?
O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God;
sing praises to the Lord, Selah
33 to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens;
behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.
34 Ascribe power to God,
whose majesty is over Israel,
and whose power is in the skies.
35 Awesome is God from his[h] sanctuary;
the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people.
Blessed be God! Psalm 68: 32-35 ESV Emphasis mine
Lord, thank You that You are Awesome. Thank You that You are the One who gives power and strength to Your people! Thank you for my friends and their ministry to these bereaved children. You have not left them as orphans- you have already prepared a place for them. May they know You strongly, and in power, during this time. Please help me to create a home that is a refuge from the storm and so reflects Your protection, comfort, and shelter. Thank You that You bear our burdens. Help me to know Your mercy and burden-bearing in a living way. Lord, thank You for all the ways You reveal Yourself through Your creation and the breath-taking beauty that often takes me by surprise.