One thing

I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet. That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic. Psalm 27:4-5

In this beautiful setting of glorious light and intimate care, I find all my wants and wishes evaporate leaving only one request. To stay with him, where all is quiet and secure, and learn. The traffic buzz is gone – all I hear is him.

Fireplace

I wish all this could happen now but the request can. It’s part of being still through silence, cultivating serenity through solitude…through intimacy with my Lord. Yes, this can happen now.

Lord, why do I allow the things of this world to choke out our intimacy together. I must choose to be still and silent for you to do your beautiful work.

A fireplace chat

God, I love living with you; your house glows with your glory. Psalm 26:8

Cabin in snow

For me, there is nothing like a snowy evening at home. All is quiet, serene – so unlike the normal world. A fire in the fireplace, beautiful music – all refreshes my soul. I don’t need to be anyone in particular – nothing to accomplish. Just all there.

I think my Lord loves those times, too. He waits for me to settle down into his arms. We sit by the fire he has made. Everything is cared for.

Lord, thank you for your intimacy. Forgive me for flying by these invitations.

Living thanks

I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. (Ps 7:17)

This is the first time the word thank appears in the psalms. Behind it is a deeper understanding than just saying thanks. It is being a person of gratitude. This person lives out 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Simply said, circumstances can only lead me to give thanks. Living with gratitude approaches all circumstances with “Thank you, Lord.”

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Gracious Lord, Savior

In all, I give thanks to you

With all, heart rested

Lord, you have never made it difficult to thank you. Through wonderful times, you have been with me. Through the uncertainties, you have led me. Through need, you have provided. Thank you, Lord.

Valley walking

Psalm 23 is one of those psalms that keeps showing me truths every time I read it. After reading it again, I see this vital lesson opening before me:

I dare not separate walking in green pastures, sitting near still waters, enjoying times of restoration and receiving goodness and mercy every day from walking in valleys.

Mountaintop perspective is not found in this psalm. It is walking with him through the valleys that these blessings are found. He is unceasingly ahead and with me; therefore, no valley causes me to fear. He leads me to my valley walks where I find comforting and healing. From the valley, I look up and see grandeur; things look bigger from the valley. The vision of my Shepherd-Lord is most intimately sharper in valleys. I am small, he is grand!

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Into the valley

Blessing, renewing, living

I am His alone

Lord, you lead me in righteous ways – you lead me into valleys. I am so cared for by you. I love that truth that I need never fear. Keep me from trying to escape the valleys. Help me accept the abundance you offer.

My precious resource

I love Psalm 19; it’s one of most marked psalms in my Bible. The focus on God’s Word is wonderful.

What is the Word like? (19:7–9)

How much do I appreciate the Word? (19:10, 11)

How do I apply the Word? (19:12–14)

Do I need my soul to live again? Do I need wisdom? Do I need a heart that rejoices? These are the rewards of the living Word in my heart and life. And all of the Word’s work is right, pure and sure.

More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)

 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… (Colossians 3:16)

 

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The Word of Christ lives
Patiently transforming me
Into His likeness

 

Lord, help me to let the Word do its work in my life. Remind me where to find my resources for every day and challenge.

 

Refuge

O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me (Ps 7:1)

David finds his Lord a refuge, a hiding place, a safe place. The Hebrew word can also be personalized to confidant. He runs to the Lord where he finds safety and someone in whom to confide.

The word refuge is used more than 100 times, mostly in the Psalms, which is a lesson itself. Life requires the place of refuge. It is likely the one place where we are totally real and allowed to be fully human. It is where our Lord takes us in his arms and settles us. No other place or person can be our refuge when life caves in.

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Lord, you alone are my refuge; you provide a safe place where I can be who I am today. Thank you for your welcoming, strong arms. Help me cultivate serenity through a time of solitude with you.

The disordered heart

The heart is fragile and can easily become disordered by many things. The prayer set my heart in order is what I see in Psalm 6. David longs for deliverance; what he is going through keeps him awake at night. Into this situation, God orders his heart so he can say,

The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer. (Ps 6:9)

The Lord puts to rest the question how long? (v. 3). Perhaps the situtation changed, perhaps it did not. But his heart changed, reordered. Perhaps that is the greatest work of God in any situation.

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Lord, set my heart in order.

Putting the day to rest

The journey from anxiety to assurance means traveling down the road of prayer and trust in God. Psalm 3 is a morning psalm; Psalm 4 is an evening psalm. I find it encouraging to remember that the Jewish day begins with the evening. The former day is settled and the new one is approached with confidence and trust.

Psalm 4.8

I don’t need to carry the day’s events and struggles to bed with me. I need not wake to them in the morning, either. Perhaps that is what is meant by Psalm 1:2.

…but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Lord, help me remember to bring all my moments to you and leave them with you. Thank you for coming into my journey and walking beside me. May the peace that you give rest me at night for the coming day.

Waiting

Isaiah 30.18

I have never known waiting to be easy…until…I remember that I wait for him, not a circumstance to come together. As my focus changes to waiting for my Lord to do his marvelous work, I recall

he longs to be gracious to me

he shows his boundless mercy to me always

he makes all things right in his time

What I notice in this verse is his waiting. He longs for the day that he can show me his grace in a new way. How loving!

Lord, you alone are Sovereign over all. Every minute and every decision of my life belongs to you. I am very blessed as I wait upon you.

Predicaments

Psalm 3 is a beautiful picture of peace in the middle of a predicament.  The first two verses describe this predicament. Verses 5 & 6 pictures the writer as sleeping peacefully. So, what sits in the middle of predicament and peace? The truths of verses 3 & 4 are key.

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain.

Lord…you…the one…the Lord…he…his

Once again, I am faced with a decision: when difficult, unpleasant times come, where will my focus be? What will grab my attention? The truth that ultimate victory comes from the Lord alone is to be my focus through these times.

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Lord, you alone are my rescuer and Victor. May I be disciplined to look to you when the unexpected comes.