Friday, June 18, 2010

Praying the Psalms- Psalm 23

Jenny has begun a journey of praying her way through the Psalms that I have decided to join. Each weekend, we will pray through one psalm and post our prayer and/or meditations on that psalm as the Lord leads. Check out her journey and join us in Praying the Psalms.

Psalm 23

I have been rather unsettled these past few weeks.  They have been a whirlwind of activity- what with school, baseball and other extra curricular activities coming to a close.  It is with bittersweet wonder that I watch my school age children excel and grow and move from grade to grade.  Of course, we are so blessed and thankful that they are doing just that.  At the same time, it is sad to see chapters closing in their little lives.  Looking forward to our Summer of Purpose, of course I am excited.  It is hard not to be when the little ones' joy is so palpable.  If I am being honest, though, I also have some anxiety about it.  The days can be long and we sometimes become short with one another.  And when it gets hot out,  we often get bothered with one another.  I feel the pressure of entertaining and discipling and teaching my three children full time while still maintaining the house, the errands, the demands of my work.

So amidst my feelings of bittersweet wonder, thankfulness and blessing, sadness, excitement, joy, anxiety and pressure, I read Psalm 23.  Arguably one of the most widely know pieces of Scripture, I knew just what I was sitting down to read.  I was hoping all the feelings would resolve themselves as the healing balm of God's Word was poured out on them.  But, I remained as unsettled after I read the psalm as I was before.  So, I read it in 6 other translations.  Still unsettled.  

Maybe there is a problem with my faith?  Maybe I do not believe that the Lord is my shepherd?  If I did then certainly I would be feeling better, no?  As I fret about this possibility, His Spirit brings one of my very favorites pieces of Scripture to remembrance:
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."  Hebrews 11:1
Yes, Lord, I am sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see.  My hope is built on nothing less than You Jesus and Your righteousness.  It is not built on feelings of the relief thereof.  It is built on You and what You have told me through Your Word.  I am certain of what I do not see, Father.  I am certain that You are God and there is none like You.  I am certain that You are my shepherd and that You will put my heart and mind to rest in Your time.    I am convinced "that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  I will not let my feelings be my lord.  Only You, O God, only You.  In Jesus' name, amen.


Barbara said...

A holy priest once told me to forget about my feelings and understand that is our wills that God wants directed toward Him. I've found it takes practice, practice, practice to look expectantly toward God, consciously choosing not to fret, worry, and imagine all sorts of bad things, and trust in His care. It's something that for some of us is taking a lifetime to master.

Layton Family Joy said...

so lovely Natalie! Amazing right during our heart's restless rolling about it is God's Word alive and active the comforts us!! I had a similar situation this week and wept for the love He has for us and how He reaches us - to slow us down, to quiet our hearts to offer peace.

thanks for sharing!

Natalie said...

Barb, absolutely! I am thankful for a God who give a lifetime of chances!!!

Stef, He always does comfort. It's a matter of slowing down and resting in Him and letting Him comfort us!

Michelle said...

Natalie, I'm so glad you wrote this post. I can relate to that unsettled feeling. I think it's a distraction to take our eyes off of what's true.

You know that I was having a rough time last week. I was talking with a friend yesterday and realized something- I needed to rebuke the *feeling* that was controlling my actions. When I realized that, it completely dissipated. I just need to remember to do that more quickly.

So excited to meet you at Relevant!

m :)

Natalie said...

That's what this walk is all about, right Michelle? Learning to turn to Him more quickly each time. Looking forward to meeting you, too!!!


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