The Psalms and I have a love-hate relationship. For many years growing up I cherished these poems, songs, and confessions as my own and devoured their sacred text. Once I went through my phase of being the 'cool Christian' I wanted nothing to do with them. I felt like they were the easy part of the Bible that everyone flocked to when Chronicles was too historical, Job too sad, and Revelation too metaphorical.
Luckily that phase came and went and The Psalms and I are back to going steady.
Praying through The Psalms is a spiritual discipline that I find particularly special. These songs and prayers are offered up to God by the nation of Israel and their expressions of praise, sorrow, faith, and frustration cover the range of human emotions. Emotions that I know all too well and experience on a day to day basis.
Suddenly these words are more than just words, they are lyrics that train us to be honest with ourselves. To admit that "I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping (Psalm 6:6)."
They remind us that everything is within God's domain and providence as some explode with praise to God, others dwell on the treasure of wisdom, some reveal the troubled heart of a mourner, and still others invite us to join in song. They are all centered upon the only and only living God and his kingdom.
Our picture of God stretches as we sing to him a new song (Psalm 149) or plow through a time of doubt (Psalm 13). We become realistic about life and anchored in truth as we join with believers from centuries ago in understanding and praising the same great God.
Today I was particularly washed in his goodness and humility as I prayed through Psalm 7:
O Lord my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands or plundered my enemy without cause, let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it, and let him trample my life to the ground and lay my glory to the dust.
Wow, what a prayer. May my glory be laid to the dust and understanding of the Lord transform through the power and peace of The Psalms.
Is there a portion of scripture that you regularly read? What Psalms provide you with hope or greater understanding of our Lord?