Sunday, November 25, 2007

A is for Application

V. Original Psalm

Psalm 151: A Lament for Rest

I call to the Lord in a time of brokenness;

In a time of inner-sickness I cry out.

My body fails me in light of the mountain I climb;

The rocks of the mountain tumble down against my spirit.

My eyes are filled with the heights above;

My body trembles for the steep hills below.

But in the dawn of each new day

Breaks forth, to my great joy, a strong light.

The Lord comes each morning to care for me.

In the dawn of each new day,

The Lord is constantly beside me,

Preparing the path ahead and placing each of my steps.

The way of the Lord is firm and always leads to rest

The breath I breathe comes easily on the path that leads to my salvation.

The hard work of the day cuts the strength of my spirit;

In the name of the Lord, I find strength to stand.

Food that should nourish my body saps my strength,

Thirst is never quenched by the wells of man’s hand,

And crowds dampen my mind with their sorrows;

The name of the Lord is my strong tower and my hiding place.

The fortress of peace stands strong against cares and troubles;

The name of the Lord is my rest.

My soul cries out:

“The Lord is my shield and my buckler!”

“The Lord fights for those He calls His own!”

“The Lord is my shield and my buckler!”

Even though I have wandered into danger,

Foolishly saying “yes” and “no” without wisdom,

The Lord makes plans to preserve His child.

In great mercy the Lord spares my life.

I call for wisdom;

I cry out for wisdom.

Continually place me within the boundary of Your goodness,

And heal the sickness of my body

That I may serve You in fullness of health until forever.

Be with me in the morning, the day, and the nighttime.

Do not let your servant be overcome by mountains high and valleys low;

Hear my cry from within the avalanche.

I wrote the psalm above to address my current circumstances. I have struggled for most of my life with health problems that impinge upon every moment of every day. I am often exhausted and have forgotten what it feels like to be rested and alert. My health worsens with stress and lack of sleep, yet I find it difficult to take better care of myself. Even though I am a college student with a full plate, I still make choices about how I use my time. I have never seen a successful model of the balanced life I know I need to live, so I find it difficult to not over-extend myself. I think to myself, “I have already said ‘no’ so many times that this one time of saying ‘yes’ to an activity or person won’t hurt,” but every ‘yes’ has the potential to derail a night’s sleep or a moments peace.

Through this all, I keep turning to God, asking Him to show me what it means to live in His peace. I am trying to listen to His voice. I depend so literally upon Him for everything else, but I still find it difficult to listen as He is continually available to direct each step and ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in my life. I think sometimes the “manual car,” the thing I need to know how to do better than anyone else is to learn how to rest. If I do not learn how to rest better, I will lose my place as an effective instrument of the Lord, and I desperately do not want that.

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