For today’s post, I’m going to do something I don’t normally do. I pasted the entirety of Psalm 34 here for us all to read together. I normally will just include selections, and if I wrote about the whole passage, will include a link. But Psalm 34 really resonated with me this morning, and I have a feeling it might with you too. So read these words below, and let them really wash over you. Then I will return with my thoughts on them.
I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise will always be in my mouth. I praise the LORD — let the suffering listen and rejoice. Magnify the LORD with me! Together let us lift his name up high! I sought the LORD and he answered me. He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to God will shine; their faces are never ashamed. This suffering person cried out: the LORD listened and saved him from every trouble. On every side, the LORD ’s messenger protects those who honor God; and he delivers them. Taste and see how good the LORD is! The one who takes refuge in him is truly happy! You who are the LORD ’s holy ones, honor him, because those who honor him don’t lack a thing. Even strong young lions go without and get hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Come, children, listen to me. Let me teach you how to honor the LORD : Do you love life; do you relish the chance to enjoy good things? Then you must keep your tongue from evil and keep your lips from speaking lies! Turn away from evil! Do good! Seek peace and go after it! The LORD ’s eyes watch the righteous, his ears listen to their cries for help. But the LORD ’s face is set against those who do evil, to eliminate even the memory of them from the earth. The righteous have many problems, but the LORD delivers them from every one. He protects all their bones; not even one will be broken. But just one problem will kill the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be held responsible. The LORD saves his servants’ lives; all those who take refuge in him won’t be held responsible for anything.
(Psalms 34:1-22 CEB)
This was certainly a week where I had “many problems”; I would not call it a stress free, easy week at all. I finally got home after an incredibly stressful Saturday where I was robbed and both my husband and my cars broke down in different states. A third car broke down on us. My phone broke. We didn’t have childcare for two days. I had to deal with credit card fraud. I started a new job. I found out we are going to have to switch primary care doctors because mine no longer is going to take my insurance. I had a major medical test and found out that I still have a serious brain condition that is only improved with surgery.
Even a few weeks ago, all of these events in tandem would have been enough to majorly stress me out. I have been struggling with anxiety and worry my whole life, since I was a child. And yet, somehow, I have had an incredible sense of peace this week. I’ve been able to use positive coping skills. I have felt extremely happy and well all week. It as an amazing week because of this.
How did this transformation happen? I’m honestly not sure, but I am confident it is the Holy Spirit acting in me, not myself. I am confident that God saved my life last Saturday night.
It’s probably cheesy, almost like something that happens in fiction and not real life, to say that after what happened Saturday, it was like a switch was thrown to where I could really trust God fully and live my life differently. The Holy Spirit took over. And I may have suffered this week, but I have been consistently full of praise, because I know God is with me. I am more aware of God’s presence in my life than I ever have been.
I am sure the week ahead will hold struggles: for you, for me, for all of us. God does not promise us a life of ease and free of problems, but quite the opposite: we are promised a life of picking up our cross daily and following Christ. But what we are promised is that the Lord will listen every single time we cry out; and for that, we can praise God in every single circumstance.