Psalm 19 Check-In (#3)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back in May, I chose Psalm 19 as a summer theme. Using it as my guide, I promised to:

(1) Intentionally recognize God's glory in nature;
(2) Share that with my children;
(3) Personally grow by studying God's word.

In July, I checked in on (1) and (2) - I've been more intentional about seeing and sharing God's glory in nature because of this summer theme. Now it is time to check in on (3): Have I grown by studying God's word?

Yes. I haven't read half of what I intended to read this summer, but my morning quiet time has involved many small acts of faith - primarily, believing that if I read, growth will come. What surprised me was that my eyes have been opened to an area I thought I had covered - prayer. I've learned about prayer by reading Psalms.

First, a reality check: My original plan was to read all of Psalms this summer. Apparently, I cannot count and I overestimate myself. Psalm has 150 chapters. I am on chapter 60. I say this only to encourage you. Don't give up if reading the Bible takes longer than you expected. It is worth it to keep going.

During my slow summer stroll through Psalms, I have noticed that there were a lot of calamities back in the day. I mean, if someone wasn't trying to kill David, then he was deathly ill, or the subject of vile rumors, or about to be attacked. It was tough! Much worse than anything I've had to go through. Understandably he cries out to God; but here is what got me - he always, always balances the "why me?" with confidence in God and praise.

To you I call, O Lord my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit. . . Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped. Psalm 28:1 and 6-7

Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. . . But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God." My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and those who pursue me. Psalm 31: 9-10 and 14-15

Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me; all day long they press their attack. My slanderers pursue me all day long; many are attacking me in their pride. When I am afraid, I will trust in you . . . In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise - in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 56:1-3 and 10-11

I've taken this pattern to heart with my own prayers. I'm learning how to praise God while I ask for relief from the crisis of the day. I'm learning how to see blessings in the midst of pain. I've heard those ideas before, ("count your blessings," One Thousand Gifts, etc) but the lesson did not stick until I spent some time studying the Bible myself.

And whoa boy - isn't that another lesson right there? You've got to actually read the Bible.

I will continue to wade through Psalms, slow and steady. I will savor the words and enjoy the rhythm of the discipline: read, consider, read, consider, read, consider . . . but most importantly, read.

That is what I've learned this summer - what about you?

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12 Responses to “Psalm 19 Check-In (#3)”

  1. I just gave up reading the Bible through in a year and decided to go into just the Psalms and dwell there for a bit.  The Psalms are a balm for my soul.  I love how they are real and say what is in the author's heart, but like you said balanced with praise to God. 

  2. I was given the suggestion to read 5 Psalms a day (by someone discovering I wrote poetry)  and do it like this 1, 31, 61, 91 121 then you read the whole book in a month and on the 31st I read 119! Other times I've just read a Psalm a day but it seems coordinating with the date helps me.
    Proverbs is also like that if you choose a month with 31 days!

  3. I've learned God desires to work on us, in us and through us for HIS glory.  A willing vessel is what He needs ~ he supplies the rest. 
    I've learned people are still searching and people will still respond to the Gospel. 
    I've been reminded He loves me regardless...
    Visiting from Thought Provoking Thursday...

  4. yes...getting in that word and letting it speak to us!!! that is where the grain hits the grinding for it to nourish us. AMEN!!

  5. Now there is a cool idea!  Thanks for the tip!

  6. " I'm learning how to see blessings in the midst of pain."  I am too and it is a good place to be.  Love all of the Psalm verses you referenced.  Thank you.

  7. Sometimes it is the simplest things . . . yes, we actually have to read the Bible. Love that.


  8. I used to think that praying is enough to be faithful. But I realized that praying is a one-way street--I tell God about my side. But what about His side? It can only be discovered through reading the Scriptures. I am still growing in this aspect of my faith but really found enlightenment since I started. :-)

    God bless. :-)


  9. Yes, that is so true! A relationship with God requires talking (prayer) AND listening (studying scripture).  Thanks for commenting.

  10. I love that about David too!! It's a great example to follow for sure! Happy "wading" through Psalms!

  11. Great thoughts! And I love Beth's suggestion for reading the book in a month. I always find it easiest if I coordinate my reading with the date, too. Deb @

  12. It's neat how God uses the smallest inkling we have to move towards Him and He blesses whatever He puts in. He doesn't keep track of how much. He is generous with us.  I have been learning to keep letting go of my agenda because the summer is all about being with the boys and there is literally slivers of time left for me.  So, I remember to make the most of those slivers and trust God with what I can't do.  And I'm tan as a bark by being at the park so much! :)  Thanks for this, Courtney!