praying the Psalms: Psalm 34
I just can’t stop praising the Lord. I have to be sure His name is always on my lips, His thoughts always on my mind. I can’t separate myself from His Word to me, to His people.
My soul, this one in tribulation and waiting for relief – it has to make its boast in the Lord. Whatever the discomfort and frustration, whatever the itchy sense of unfinished-ness, oh, soul, humble yourself before the Lord and be glad! (Not feel cheerful, soul, but exult in the goodness of the Sovereign God. Exult in Him.)
In fact, let’s do it together.
Everyone? Exult in the Lord with me! Make His Name so big and so prominent in your day that you think “Father… Adonai… Elohim… God… Lord… Savior… Yahweh… Jesus the Christ…” infinitely more times than you think of yourself. Let’s do this thing where we squash our self-absorption and opt for the glorification of the Holy Other. Magnify the Lord with me!
It’s true, thank Him so much, that when I have sought after the Lord – He answers me. He doesn’t leave me alone. Even today, when I wrote out in plain letters, It feels like you just dropped me off and wandered away to do something more holy – where are You? What are You doing? It doesn’t change reality: I’m not crushed here. Oh, my little soul feels like it. But I am not crushed. The Lord answers me! He delivers me!
I want that radiance that comes from looking so persistently and firmly at the Father. A glory all His own reflecting down into my days the way the sun sparkles through my backyard oak trees of an afternoon. Sometimes I delight in that sun and sometimes it makes me hot and uncomfortable, pushing down through the branches and shining into places I’d rather stay in the dark. I’m so glad even darkness is not darkness to the Light of the World – so glad being hot and grumpy is not the end of the story. He shines down into my thoughts and my ways and burns away all those self-glorifying bits that lead to death. I’m so amazed…
The Psalmist says I can taste and see that God is good – are you, God? Are you really? I suppose I don’t really wonder about Your goodness. I do believe it. But the taste of it is not always sweet. I get so nervous. How painful will Your goodness turn out to be? But oh, You are not unkind… When I seek You, pursue Your realities over my own – I will lack no good thing! I’m never lacking. I’m never unfinished. You will finish the good work You’ve started in me.
So whatever it is my soul is telling me – whatever thrashing and stamping of feet and etcetera is going on – this is still true: the eyes of the Lord are towards the righteous and His ears toward their cry…the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit…
The Lord redeems the life of His servants. Hallelujah.
Magnify the Lord with me! Let us exalt His name together, friends.