For the past several weeks, we have had a bizarre electrical problem that involves just a few outlets – and our master bedroom closet. Because the closet has a window, we can see during the day. But when it’s early or the light of day has faded, we have to use a flashlight to see.
One night, as I shone the flashlight at the floor of the closet to light my way, a verse from Psalm 119 came to mind: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psa. 119:105).
I love how David, our psalmist, does not waver in his statement. He says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” IS. Not maybe is, or sometimes is, or on a good day is. IS.
During the last several weeks as I have been a part of the In the Garden prayer study, I’ve been reacquainted with the Psalms. They are beautiful, poetic, inspired; so very personal and real. Laurie felt led to use Psalm 23, “The Lord is My Shepherd,” as our focus Scripture through our study. It was the perfect Scripture! The Lord allowed me to see myself as a sheep, prone to wander, with the hook of my Good Shepherd saving me from walking off a cliff.
When Laurie first told us we would be using Psalm 23, she pointed out that Psalm 22 is quite different in nature, something I did not know. The title given to it by the ESV is: “Why Have You Forsaken Me?” The first 2 verses say:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest. (Psa. 22:1-2)
And yet, we find such beauty and comfort in the very next Psalm:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. (Psa. 23-1-3)
As I meditated on how the Psalms minister to us, I became convicted to begin reading the book of Psalms from the very beginning. Just this week, I was greatly encouraged by Psalm 9:
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. (Psa. 9:9-10)
Then, I came to Psalm 13. I could hear David cry out:
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? (Psa. 13:1-2)
And it hit me…the Lord’s Word lights my path every day, in every circumstance. Every day is different. Some days, I feel my path is well lit. I feel grounded in God’s Word. I feel at peace. My eyes are fixed on the Lord. I know He is my Stronghold.
And then there are other days that I feel I am fumbling my way with a penlight. I don’t feel so grounded. I’m aware of my weakness, and my sin is ever present. I feel defeated, prone to despair. I feel distant from the Lord.
It is in this place of acknowledging the “realness” of the Christian walk that I praise God for the Psalms! What a gift God gave us in David — a shepherd, a poet, a King, a man who poured out his heart to God, who knew great spiritual highs and deep spiritual lows – just as we do. The Words that lit David’s path also light mine.
Growing in Grace