Daily D – Psalm 116:1-2
I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! PSALM 116:1-2 (NLT)
Every parent has held a baby who could not stop crying. The little one was not hungry, did not require a diaper change, and was not sleepy. He or she bore no obvious signs of anything causing pain or discomfort. Yet all he or she could do was cry.
Maybe you are having a day like that. If not today, you probably have had such a day. You probably will have such a day again.
Where do we go at times like that? Where do we go when we are all grown up and know how to take care of ourselves and our needs but nothing brings comfort? We have an open invitation to go to God.
Once upon a time, a poet recorded his experience in similar circumstances. He had a day when it felt like the world was collapsing in upon him. All the joy of life had been removed. Nothing could divert him from his sadness. All he could do was sigh and cry.
He did what we should do. He took his grief to God. What did he discover?
I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!
God listens. God leans in. He saves (vv. 3, 4, 6, 8). He extends mercy (v. 5). He protects (v. 6). He provides rest (v. 7). He reminds us of his constant presence (v. 9). He hears our deepest woes (v. 10).
He turns the quicksand of grief and loss into rock upon which we can stand and build. He shapes memorials and stands them up for us to look back upon one as reminders of how he demonstrated his presence and how he redeemed our pain.
Today may be the hardest of hard days in a long, long time. There is coming a tomorrow, however, when we will look back on this day with gratitude for all of God’s goodness, mercy, and love.
Feel your feelings. Express your pain to God. Let him heal your hurting heart. Remember the most powerful word in Psalm 23:4: “Even though I was throughthe darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” Never stop to stay in the middle of the journey. Let God lead you through it. This is the only way to get to the other side however long that may take.
I will walk through all of my griefs with God.
Our Father, sometimes grief and loss move in and act like they are going to stay forever. Thank you for how grief makes us slow down, be still, and take measure of what is most deeply important. Thank you such seasons do not last forever. Thank you for how you lead us through even the saddest of days. Your mercy on us in such times provides comfort and peace. Thank you for this ancient poem and the reminder it gives that grief is not the end of the story. Thank you for bending down to us when we cannot bear the weight of loss and our whispered prayers are muffled by tears. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.