A Pile of Kleenexes, Dirty Dishes, and Psalm 3

photoEarlier this week, a wise friend of mine encouraged me to feel.

I know it sounds weird, but my friend was right. I think sometimes I get carried away in analyzing things instead of stopping to realize what is really going on and how it is affecting me. The advice has truly blessed me this week – and I believe it was purely God’s way of guiding me toward Him.

Anyways, my friend’s advice led me to the book of Psalms. There is no doubt that one of the most emotion-filled books of the Bible is The Psalms. Written by men, such as Solomon, Moses, David, and a few others, who all walked through extremely difficult (and sometimes self-inflicted) circumstances, the book is full of extremely personal laments where longings are expressed and anger is not hidden. I mean, the writers let it all hang out, which I can appreciate.

This morning, I read Psalm 3 and was deeply encouraged.

When David wrote this Psalm, he was fleeing from Absalom, his own son, who was trying to kill him. (Yep. You read it correctly.) I don’t have space here to get into all of the details (check out 2 Samuel 13-19), but I’m sure you can imagine the sorrow in your head. Your son, who you love, is trying to kill you so that he can be king, and you are running cave-to-cave to save yourself. Yikes! Pretty rough…

Anyways, as David is resting in the desert somewhere, thinking about the situation, he writes Psalm 3.

“O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God” (v. 1 & 2, ESV).

David feels alone. He’s being mocked. His own nation, the one God put him in charge of, is being taken from him by his own son who wants him dead, and many others are helping him do it. His own people, with his son leading, are trying to kill him. I’m sure he also felt betrayed, confused, and scared. (I’m not him, but I’m assuming.)

In the midst of the circumstances, and the emotion, David stops and remembers the Lord.

“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. […] I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. […] Salvation belongs to the Lord” (v.3, 5, & 8, ESV).

David remembers God is present, God provides comfort, God who sustains his life, and God can save him. Although things look bleak, and the cards seem stacked against him, David knows that the Lord can be trusted. And it moves David from a dark place, to a place of confidence in God.

As I read this Psalm, I thought about my own life.

This week I’ve been really sick. Some sort of cold has gotten the best of me, and my sleep has been greatly interrupted/nonexistent. I’m exhausted and I feel awful. On top of this, my house is a mess, I’m behind on schoolwork, I’m sorting through some heart issues, while trying to apply for internships, and the mister and I have another heavy thing on our plate, which I won’t mention here.

Now, I know this all seems small compared to what David had going on, or compared to what a lot of people have going on, but it’s big to me. It all feels pretty heavy, and I feel (or felt) quite overwhelmed.

Through this Psalm, however, I’m reminded that in the midst of my longings, hardships, struggles, pain, uncertainty, sickness, anxiety, and fear, God is present. I’m not alone.

Even when it feels as though nothing is going right, and everything is hard, I have hope. The Lord provides comfort – He “lifts my head.” When I’m fearful of being rejected, I have acceptance in the Lord. When I’m scared of what people might think if I speak up, I know the Lord holds me for eternity. When I have too much to do, and not enough time to do it, I know it’s okay. When I’m scared of what the future might hold in one particular area, I know the Lord is moving in it. Even though the cards seem stacked against me, God can be trusted.

Sometimes I think I sustain myself, but I don’t. It’s God who sustains me. Because of Him, I’m alive. Because of Him, my life on this earth has purpose.

He knows what’s going on. He can see past the pile of Kleenexes that seem to follow me, the dirty dishes in the sink, and the chaos of everything else. He can be trusted with it all.

The Lord is present. He provides comfort and refuge, and He sustains life.

Lord, may I rely upon you for strength, instead of myself. Help me rest in you as I trust that you are at work, even in the things I don’t quite understand.

“You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory and the lifter of my head.” – Psalm 3:3

I feel grateful, confident, and full of peace.

Exhale. Find comfort. He knows where you are – and salvation belongs to him.

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