I cannot tell you how many times in recent months I have sung, spoken, croaked or shouted these words from #35A in “The Book of Psalms for Worship”:
Strive, LORD, with those who strive with me.
And fight LORD with those who fight with me.
Take up the buckler and the shield;
Rise up and my Defender be.
Let us be honest. I have never been a good doormat. When I feel pursued and shamed, I find myself resonating with the Psalmist’s plea, “Let those who seek my life be disgraced and put to shame… “
And yet, as I said when I posted this photo a few days ago, “I suppose the juxtaposition of flowers and verse is a little incongruous, but it fits the way I feel. If I can just remember this and keep my eyes on His salvation life is still very beautiful!”
The 17th century Japanese poet, Basho, wrote:
A world of grief and pain
But its more than that.
Verse 4 of #34B says:
Encircling those who fear the LORD
His angel camps, and rescues them.
O taste and see the LORD is good;
How blessed are those who trust in Him.
Now a lot of times this last year I have felt rather like the Israelites in the Exodus with nothing but a cloud between them and the Egyptians. But nevertheless there is still the sweet taste of God’s goodness.
I taste His goodness in sunsets and sunrises, lakes and rivers, the fragrance and color of the flowers everywhere - all revealing to me God’s invisible qualities: His eternal power and divine nature.
I taste His goodness as I sing the thought provoking old hymns and, of course, the Psalms. And as I search my Bible, meditating and praying through the promises I find I feel that God is very, very good to me.
And I hope someday many people will say when they look at us:
How radiant those who looked to Him!
Their faces free from shame shall be.
The LORD heard when this poor man cried,
And from all trouble set him free.
- 34B verse 3
Radiant, yes, because God shines His face on us!