I hesitate to write tonight because 1. I want everyone to read what my husband, Kevin wrote on hope on day 24 and just sit on those thoughts as I am (so if you haven’t read that, just don’t read any further and go read his post!) and 2. My brain has been like mush the past few nights. So, I guess we’ll just see what comes out. It will be simple tonight. As I read Psalm 42 a few days ago and spent time thinking of what we’ve been learning and asking God to teach us about hope, I continued on to Psalm 43. Many would say that these Psalms really are together as there are many similarities in them. David continues to cry out to the Lord, and yet in the midst of his wondering where God is, he still declares him, his “exceeding joy”. And I just had to stop and think about that for a while. In the midst of his despair, his turmoil, still he longs to as he says: “go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.” David knew his God and I continue to be struck by that as I look at my own life and long to know the Lord in the way that David knew him. So, yesterday, in the midst of my own turmoil, I went to my own altar of sorts. What would it look like to take time to just offer to the Lord my praise in the midst of all my questions of where he is in this, and what he’s doing. The altar for me, the place where I just met with Jesus was in the bathroom getting ready for the day, and then in the car. And there I worshipped. I lifted my hands and I sang songs of praise to the Lord until I meant the words I was saying. And in those moments my eyes faded from my circumstances and all I saw was Jesus. And the joy that was present in my heart was a sweet, sweet reminder of what it looks like to tell my soul as David did “hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Not in a self-help type of “pick up your bootstraps” (what does that even mean?) and just do it way. But in a way where we are speaking God’s truth to our hearts even when we don’t feel it, when it feels impossible to believe. To take our sorrow, and our disappointment and continue to place it in the Lord’s hand and still worship him for who he is and not what he does. He IS my exceeding joy and God is teaching me what that means the more I press into him. More thoughts on this tomorrow, when hopefully my brain is less mushy!
Questions for Reflection:
- Is God your exceeding joy?
- What would it look like for you to “go to the altar” and bring God praise in the midst of the losses and disappointments you may still be wrestling with, with him?
Paul in 2 Corinthians 4