In time of need: Hymn-Therapy

I had salvation, believing what Jesus did for me on the cross, but, at a time of sickness and dread, I opened a hymnal on the shelf.

Be Still my Soul,” He spoke to me that day, “the Lord is on thy side.“(1)

His arm reach out in love and His hand took hold of mine. My Savior met me in the cold, dark hour and ministered life to me through a hymn.

“He is on my side.” My heart was revived.

The words ministered to me, the truth of His love and faithfulness, when all my mind kept rehearsing before, “Won’t He give me a break?”

I came to know the Lord with contemporary choruses of praise. Though God allowed great brokenness and loss within my life, He faithfully ministered greater light and life, and His presence in my time of need. I would never exchange a moment of it, not for anything.

This hymnal proved to be a treasure chest of hope, life, and promise. The Spirit moved me with increased faith as my mind thought on His  Almighty power.

Today, I write, in the face of a battle, with enemies of Overwhelmed and Fear, and Discouragement lurking. I find a Charles Wesley hymn written around the armor of God in Ephesians 6, published in 1749.

God’s therapy, or counseling session for me, is that my mind think on words like these:

Soldiers of Christ, arise,
And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies
Through His eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of hosts,
And in His mighty pow’r,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror.

“Strong in the strength which God supplies,” because He can clearly see, I am not strong, in and of myself, I am tired and weak. God counsels with direction that I must meet:

Stand then in His great might,
With all His strength endued,
And take, to arm you for the fight,
The panoply of God;
That, having all things done,
And all your conflicts passed,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone,
And stand entire at last.

I will admit, the word panoply was not in my vocabulary, so I looked it up. The dictionary spelled it out in this way:

pan·o·ply
noun
1. a complete or impressive collection of things.
2. a splendid display.
3. a complete set of arms or suit of armor.
Stand then in His great might,” yes, I must take hold and clothe myself with all that’s true, and the collection of “armor” God has equipped us with.
We don’t “wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rules of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6, KJV, speaks solid and clear of who our real enemy is. We must fight and remember Who it is that is with us handing us all we need to win:
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (2)
The hymn inspires and exhorts. Actively reaching out a Hand to pick me up:
Leave no unguarded place,

No weakness of the soul,
Take every virtue, every grace,
And fortify the whole.
From strength to strength go on,
Wrestle and fight and pray,
Tread all the pow’rs of darkness down
And win the well-fought day.

Yes, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” (3) This is it! This is my therapy session with a hymn. This is direction, hope and how I will keep a sound mind.

I will speak this hymn and clothe myself with the armor of God that the faith God increases in me can pass any test. How about you? Has this hymn touched you?

Let us praise God before the “Red Sea is parted.” Let us praise God ever-more. To God be the glory, Strong in the strength which God supplies
Through His eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of hosts,
And in His mighty pow’r,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror. 

(1) Katharina A. von Schlegel, 1752

(2) Ephesians 6:14-17, NIV.

(3) Ephesians 6:18.

 

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Have I forgotten, the horse goes before the cart?

The horse precedes the cart. Does it not? If it’s to move forward it must.

Am I guilty of putting the cart before the horse? Am I am guilty of lifting my hands in praise to my God, yet often forgetting to remember He is Holy. He is Just.

Have I forgotten? He knows every thought in my heart.

Do I come through God’s doors seeking blessing and peace? And yet expect perfection from others, not trusting, making lists of their wrongs, and then come to praise God, lift my hands. What is it I seek?

Our Father who is in Heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Do I even come close to understand the words I’m saying?

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.

We all have debts, we all have debtors. God knows this world is hard and painful, but He breathed out His letters.

“As we have forgiven our debtors.” This is the method Jesus instructed we pray.  How sharp, and at the same time grace-full; instruction and warning yet, “always believing.” This the Lord’s, (not man’s) way. “Help my perceiving.”

I have forgiven. I have spent time in prayer. God knows I have, but then, am I being tempted that I haven’t?

The battle is great, my constitution weak: And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil.” (1)

I won’t for a minute longer try to celebrate the joy of the Lord, until I have first come, asking mercy, with a heart ready for surgery from His Word.

I come to the cross. Drawing near to God. He laid down His life. He took all my sin—my ugliness, my strife.

I must not worry about what others think,  I must first come to Jesus, and be willing to hear Him speak.

Tempted to run, but right here I’ll stay. Today must be a day of atonement for me.  To be at-one-with-God. To know Him and His love and His compassionate, gracious way.

So I look up atonement, and let God’s Word (and Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible on Leviticus 23), speak.

The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves,  and present an offering made to the LORD . . .
A time to be sorry for sin. For looking . . . in.
But then on the same page, in the same chapter and all, is a feast, a celebration, a joyous time. I continue to read in Spurgeon’s Devotional,
So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; . . . On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches . . . and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.

 

Sorrow for sin is the “horse” so to speak. The horse must precede the cart, or nothing gets moving.

Sorrow for sin is the hallway I must go through, before I enter the room of atonement. “If sin is sweet to my tastebuds and life, I will miss completely at-one-ment with Christ.”

The horse precedes the cart. This is the only way to move forward. This day of mourning and sadness for sin, leads on to gladsome feast and in the Lord, great rejoicing.

No work of mine. Not one thing I can do. Jesus did the work for me. And He paid it in full . . . for you.

We’ve all been broken. We’ve all fallen. We so often miss the mark. But He’s risen and alive! The day of atonement must come first. But then the joy of the Lord will move the cart.

Daily let us come to the cross and seek His grace. Receiving and believing, this moment, then . . . we wash the tears from our face.

Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible brought insight for this blog. Feb. 24—Evening, Leviticus XXIII.

(1) Matthew 6:9-13

 

God Calls a Meeting

I wrote a piece yesterday for our Word Weaver’s (of Lexington) Meeting in the evening. I called it “A Child Can Teach Many Things.” After time with other writers and gentle critique, I share with you ideas in editing, so you might be encouraged to join us once a month that the words God has put on your heart would be written and shared. And God is in control of all that happens through the process.

God calls a meeting.

He’s tugging at my heart.

I’m hungry. I’m tired. My tapestry is unraveling.

I’m seeking, but not finding. There’s a Dead End again.

Where is this place of meeting? Does my heart yearn to go?

My thinking goes amiss. I think, “Before the meeting, I have to do this.”

“I have to get rid of that, but I can’t. I can’t. Or maybe, it’s more like, . . . I won’t.”

Is this how we think? Do we believe, “God doesn’t want to  meet with me, I’m way too lost. I’ve gone too far.”

God calls a meeting, time and time again. Do I continue to run the other way?

Do our minds spin out of control?

God saw me running. So He brought me a 3 year old. To simply watch and listen.

A child’s smile, the skip, the joy, the love. How we’re always changing, but some things never change.

As I was watching a child at play, it was like a first day of spring. It was like a sky with fun, puffy clouds.

I was running from God, so He brought me a child. So I could see with my eyes, something I knew of before. Of forgiveness and grace, gentleness, and noise. Of making a mess, but having a second chance – of two sides of a coin.

God called a meeting and I kept putting it off, until He brought a child in my view.

I heard the song coming from their heart during play, “A,B, C, D . . .” So accomplished and confident. So, I broke in and asked, “What’s your favorite song?”

She began to sing: “Jesus loves me . . .”

I watched a tender faith. I witnessed a confident trust. I knew these words. They were hidden deep down in my heart.

“Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.”

My heart was pierced, that very moment. I forgot what was true.

I forgot what I knew.

As sheep often do.

I left from following the Shepherd. I thought I had to “plow on through.” By myself. On my own.

I became like the prodigal. Hungry, far. With pig slop for food. It was when that child sang,  “Jesus loves, . . . ” That I heard, “Remember Me.”

The child sang, “this I know . . .”

My thought, “No, I don’t know anymore.”

The Lord kept His appointment. He spoke:  “Remember Me.”

Gentle and kind. God used a little child to remind. To remind me it’s not “Do this.” “Don’t do that.”

Simply, “Jesus loves.”

How I forgot.

So, I turned around that moment. That moment was new. Because, in my heart, instead of my back, I turned to face the Lord. Inside my heart was bursting.

I held it all in, but, if I didn’t I would have a face filled with tears.

Immediately, . . .

I felt hope.

Out of a child’s praise, I remembered God’s amazing grace.

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, declares the Lord, . . .” Jeremiah 29:12-14. 

See God's Hand

God calls a meeting.

He’s tugging at my heart.

I’m hungry. I’m tired. My tapestry is unraveling.

I’m seeking, but not finding. There’s a Dead End again.

Where is this place of meeting? Does my heart yearn to go?

My thinking goes amiss. I think, “Before the meeting, I have to do this.”

“I have to get rid of that, but I can’t. I can’t. Or maybe, it’s more like, . . . I won’t.”

Is this how we think? Do we believe, “God doesn’t want to  meet with me, I’m way too lost. I’ve gone too far.”

God calls a meeting, time and time again. Do I continue to run the other way?

Do our minds spin out of control?

God saw me running. So He brought me a 3 year old. To simply watch and listen.

A child’s smile, the skip, the joy, the love. How we’re always…

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The evergreen, in the midst of night …

The evergreen is brought in, this time again. Adorned with lights, and gifts, and angels of white, baubles of red and garlands of thread. With my thoughts ringing, “Do not be afraid, …”  remembering what the angel said.

“So much has changed.” as I hang a nativity up on the tree. “Dear God, I need You to speak in such a time as this. Please don’t be silent. I’m tempted to doubt that I can get through this …

So I open up the story, told over and again, and I read the words of the angel to Mary, from a long, lost time, from way back when: “… for you have found grace with God … you will give birth to a Son and  you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the most High … and of his reign there will be no end.”

Luke Chapter 1 verse 33, Amplified. And, then You hear my heart cry, “Oh God, what does all this mean for me? In the midst of the night, let me hear, let me rest. Let me simply sit in this uncomfortable – ness!

So, I sit. In the night. But I marvel at the sight. Amidst anxious thoughts, wrestling to overthrow my rest and peace, I look upon the evergreen.

“For with God nothing is ever impossible, and no word from God shall be without power …” the Amplified version of Luke 1:37 speaks. I read them, and I wonder, “Do I believe?

Do I really believe the Word of God? Or only on sunflower days, and when the sod is soft and green. do I believe God when all seems against all my understanding?”

So as I look at the evergreen in the room. Adorned with lights, and gifts, and angels of white, I see the baubles of red, and remember the blood that was shed. I see the garland of thread, and think of the Good Word I have read:

Mary’s response to the news of the angel: “My soul glorifies the Lord
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, …”

Somehow I forgot Luke 1:47. How could I miss the response that was given.

“Oh dear Lord, may I choose to rejoice as well, and worship You, for, …
 “…for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant …

for the Mighty One has done great things for me—

His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.”

This is the story, Luke 1:48-50. These are the words breathed by God, to tell –

to tell me that today, even in the midst of night, that He is great and will extend mercy, even on me, all the same. “Give me grace, dear Lord Jesus, to magnify and give You my praise, through my heart’s tears and through the dark rain. The Son dwells in my heart forever. The Son Of God does great things,

and this Christmas, I will again, believe.

“O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”

Struggling to see light this Christmas . . .

“O soul are you weary and troubled. No light in the darkness you see. There’s a light for a look at the Savior and life more abundant and free.” (1)

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, a hymn quite familiar to many, speaks compassion and comfort for the brokenhearted and lonely. God says, “Speak of the hymns,” in His Book of Ephesians. So, speak we will, seeking a light for a look at the Great Physician.

Others are praying in this time of great pain. Prayers going out during this dark of night. But greater still – Jesus is praying – He, the giver and keeper of Life itself.  The King greater than all other Kings, He’s praying for us. The prayers, “Through these tears – “O Lord,Give us sight, through this  darkness and night.”

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. (2)

“Behold the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him, Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him. He will feed His flock like as shepherd; He will gather His lambs in His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.” this is Isaiah Chapter 40 verse 10 and 11. These are words breathed out straight from heaven.

Chapter 30 verse 5 in the Book of Psalms:  “For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

“Oh Lord God, give us sight. Give some relief as we wait and are tempted to wonder, ‘why.‘ Open our eyes for spiritual things. We are weak, our mouths are so dry . . .

“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” The LORD speaks, He is our Immanuel, yesterday and today. He is near, forever.

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the LORD’s hand Double (forgiveness) for all her sins.” (3) This is the word that will not fail, this is the Word of our Immanuel.

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, And every mountain and hill shall be made low …” (4)

Oh, how we need to be reminded that God, the Creator of the Universe – He’s in control.

“The crooked places shall be made straight, And the rough places smooth; The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”(5)

These are promises given for our hearts to take hold. When there’s darkness and pain and endless oppression, we must remind ourselves, ‘the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’

All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, …but the word of our God stands forever. O Zion, You who bring good tidings, Get up into the high mountain, . . . You who bring good tidings, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities, . . . “Behold your God!” (6)

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

“Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” (7)

There’s a light for a look at the Savior . . . His word shall not fail you, He’s promised . . . Over us sin no more hath dominion – For more than conquerors we are!

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (8)

The light has been given, the weak hands that hang down, are strengthened to hold the sword of God’s word. Nothing has changed, save the spirit inside us, now transformed and encouraged to hope and have faith and to love – Victorious!

 There’s a light for a look at the Savior. A light, so abundant and free : God’s love never fails … For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. (9)

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.

 (1) Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

(2) John 10:11

(3) Isaiah 40:1,2.

(4) Isaiah 40:3,4a.

(5) Isaiah 40:4b,5.

(6) Isaiah 40:6-9.

(7) Romans 8:34.

(8) Romans 8:37-39.

(9) 1 Corinthians 13:8,12).

Did you see the Son rise today?

Perhaps your body hurts with too much pain.

Or your heart is broken, there’s so much strain.

The sadness has caused your eyes to close.

“Jesus loves me …” in this day, who knows?

The clouds are too thick. Is there a Son rise?

Forever, yes. And not as far as you think.

If you stop, and be still … and open your mind.

Put off the doubt, and a young child do find.

If you are able, sit with a youngster or just watch, the wiggles and squeals for a short while or else:  think back of a sweet memory as far back as you can, and sit in the warmth, to cheer up your soul.

Make thinking ‘on good’ be your new style. Sacrifice some time to offer to God a thankful heart for awhile.

Put off the dark colors for a minute and see, the light, the blues and yellows and pink. The Lord will cover you in His tenderness and get you through the  moments of great sadness.

Sacrifice thanksgiving, even though clouds still hang from the sky, somehow, miraculously,

you see the sun rise.

“He, (Jesus) said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Mark 10:13-15.

Can you see you are His child in His arms? He desires to touch and bless you, even now,

even today,

with His love charms of hope and grace always.

 “And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” Mark 10: 16.

Let us make a ‘Thank offering.’ Oh how beautiful the Son is to our eyes.

“…Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-13.

 

A time to be silent…but God?

Considered one of the wisest men. One called to pen wise words of God, Solomon wrote, “To everything there is a season, a time for very purpose under heaven…”(Eccl. 3:1).

“A time to be born, and a time to die.”(Ecc. 3:2).

But it doesn’t make sense. There is silence. There is stillness. There is emptiness. There is void. But everything else around just keeps moving on and on and on.

People get up, people have jobs or school. Cars go down the road. Coffee is still being served along with lunch and dinner, and on and on…

But, there is ‘a time to be born, and a time to die.’ “It’s not fair!” “It’s not fair!” is all a hurting heart can cry!

A grieving heart, bleeds. A grieving heart…just bleeds – even though it knows, “to everything there is a season… a time to be born, and a time to die.” 

‘Yes, a time to be born,  but it’s too soon, and the one who suffers loss asks, “Why?” So many questions, so many “Why’s”.

But there is only silence. Silence inside. But  there’s all this action that keeps going on. Can’t the world just STOP! For even a few minutes! Can’t the world stop, so the hurting can get off?

“A time to plant, And a time to pluck up what was planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast a way stones, and a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to gain, and a time to lose;

A time to keep, and a time to throw away;

A time to tear and a time to sew;

A time to keep silence,…

and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;

A time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecc. 3:2-8).

To everything there is a season.  But God, He speaks comfort, even in the silence. Yes, He speaks His love to the broken hearted, even by… just,

His breath:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you.

“And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1,2,3).

“Be of good cheer?” YES! Be of good cheer.

“So, you ask Me, “Be of good cheer?” when I’ve made you to lie down, with great loss and humility. I have allowed tribulation, where you cry out, “Oh my God! Oh my God!” but  my child, you can’t see it now, but when the dust begins to settle, you will take notice, the pastures you’ve been made to lie down on are covered with green sod.”

“Can you hear My voice say, “I see your strength indeed, is small.” And you respond, “You’ve said it Lord, it is true, it is true.” “But what comes next my child, you do know this hymn, what does it say, “Child of weakness, watch and pray, find in Me, your All in All.” Yes,  perhaps you’ve sung these treasured words, but today they were written specifically for…you.”

“Be of good cheer?” “Be of good cheer?” Today, today- it’s the HOW? that’s not clear. ‘In this world you will have tribulation’,You warned us ahead, but I had no idea, no idea the blows I would receive…”Be of good cheer?” O GOD, what else is it that You’ve said?”

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I AM your God,“(Is. 41:10), these are My words for you today. Be of good cheer, I am with you right now, “It is I; do not be afraid,” (Mark 6:50), ” remember, ‘I AM your God! I am YOUR God!’ that is how! that is how!

“Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world,” I will give you sufficient grace to rise above this present weakness. I will give you grace sufficient-remember the biggest diamonds lie under the heaviest stones. I will increase your faith, that you may turn away these heavy burdens. Faith, my child, faith in My love, is what’s needed,  even more… than FITNESS!

“Turn over the burdens and cast them to Me, you will ‘find My power, and mine alone, can change a leper’s spots and melt a heart of stone’. Don’t let your heart grow hard, come meet Me at the Table in the presence of your enemies. That’s where you’ll discover My great healing power as you take of the wine of the new covenant and of  the broken bread. You will taste and you will see that you – are – not – alone!

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping me,…”(Ps. 22:1), yes, I’ve spoken these words too. “But be not far from Me, O Lord; O My help, hasten to aid Me,”(Ps. 22:19), this also has been My cry. Remember, remember, remember, I KNOW, and I love you.

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name, [and has personal knowledge of My mercy, love and kindness; and trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no never]”, This is my voice amplified.”

“In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33)“Call unto Me and I will answer you. I will show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know…” (Jer. 33:3,Amplified). Yes, you must have strength to turn over those heavy stones, but the strength is all Mine, My love is Agape, TRUE and ALWAYS, of the FOREVER kind!”

“Let Me lead you, and let your words be few. Lean not on your own understanding, fix your eyes on Mine, and come often to My Table that I’ve prepared for you. Moment by moment, not just a one time thing, walk with me My child, let Me be your breath, you’ll discover I make My abode in the Song that you sing:

“For nothing good have I, Whereby Thy grace to claim; I’ll wash my garments white, In the blood of Calvary’s Lamb. And when before the throne, I stand in Him complete; “Jesus died, my soul to save,” My lips shall still repeat: “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it…white – as – SNOW!”

“How, you ask. How? by remembering My promises My child. “Your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His Name.”(Is. 54:5), “Seek Me, you will find Me, call upon Me for I am near. I will hear your call, ‘child of weakness watch and pray, find in Me, thine all and all!”

A whale of a Psalm. Ps. 34.

“Let me be singing when the evening comes, ‘Bless the Lord O my soul’…”

So, I must confess,
I was not singing when the evening comes.

‘Outside there were conflicts, inside there were fears –
but there was no ‘Nevertheless God’ in my thoughts.

I am going to express my feelings in words, but not my own words. I will use words that Jonah penned in Jonah 2. Jonah was thrown overboard a ship during a great tempest,(cause by his running away from God) and down, down, down he went – yet he was rescued by a whale.

OK, for the record, I am not running away from God like Jonah,(thanks to his story I have learned how rediculous that is!)

I am suffering from a broken heart.
Do you have a broken heart? Can you relate? No one is threatening to throw me overboard, but because of a broken heart, the thought of escape, or ‘jumping ship’ sounds appealing. Wait, maybe in a sense, I am running away after all. But I vow, if I run, I will run to God, who is my refuge.

So back to the story and Jonah’s words; for three days and three nights he sat, (well, he might not have been sitting,) nevertheless God…saved him.

His words while in the belly of very hot, humid, smelly, and good thing it was dark stomach,because I am sure that it was very gross, “For You cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the floods surrounded me; All Your billows and Your waves passed over me. Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’ the waters encompassed me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the moorings of the mountains; The earth with its bars closed behind me forever;

That is that deep and dark feeling in words. Thank you, Jonah.

But we all know the story, God sent the whale. Here’s Jonah again, Jonah 2:6,7, “Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD, my God.”

I write today because God prepared a whale of a Psalm for me this morning, and it might be for you as well, if you have a broken heart. The LORD literally got hold of me and lifted me up.

Psalm 34:18, “The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.”
Psalm 34:17, “the righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.”Psalm 34:19, Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

No one wants to be around someone who is depressed, but ‘The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.”

I can hear Him today, “Toni, I wept. I wept over death. And I even knew that Lazarus would be raised from the dead! You will weep over death, I did. I love you with an everlasting love.”

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.”
Ps. 34:8-10.

‘You have brought up my life from the pit’. Now, THAT is a whale of a Psalm.