Psalm 147: 1-11
"Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars and calls each of them by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.
He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.
He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call.
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love."
I am so thankful that I read this Psalm this morning before the kids have even stirred. I need a fresh start today, because yesterday ended badly. (Like, Ellie sobbing so hard she nearly made herself throw up, among other things that may or may not have included me lacking the patience and gentleness my kids deserve.)
A couple of things stand out to me this morning from this Psalm...
- the Lord is near to the brokenhearted. I think that includes moms who feel like they fail their kids every day in some way. What is more heartbreaking than not being able to be the mother you want to be to the most precious, moldable and innocent people in the world to you? So glad to know that He is near to me, especially since I am in this state more often than not.
- God determines how many stars there are; he is mighty in power and his understanding has no limit. For me this means that God is paying attention, and that He has ordained things that I might not have thought He ordains. I am glad I've been learning about giving thanks lately - that it's necessary to thank the Lord for everything in all circumstances and what that does for my heart (especially when I'm giving thanks for my challenges and disappointments). It trains my heart to focus on him and step outside myself. You can bet I'm thanking Him for the sleep challenges we are having. It feels unnatural, and then this burden is lifted and I see things differently, even if for a short time, until I come back to the discipline of giving thanks again. I am resting in His sovereignty and power today, thankful that He is what I am not, and I don't have to understand it.
- The Lord provides what the earth needs, food for the animals, and for the young ravens when they call. All I have to do is humble myself and call out to Him for what I need every day, and I'll receive it. (Not talking about health-and-wealth gospel here, but spiritual needs.) How often I don't even take that simple step because it requires humility and the self awareness to realize that I can't draw on myself for things I don't possess. Strength. Patience. Selfless love. Kindness. Forgiveness. Am I the only one who tends to feel sheepish when I keep asking God for these things each day? That's such a human thought - 'I should have this down by now, I shouldn't need Him for such basic things every day. This is disappointing to Him.' Which brings me to my next lesson learned, and it happens to be my favorite.
- God is not pleased by our strength, abilities, appearance... but he delights in those who fear him and put their hope in his unfailing love. If that doesn't give you hope and peace and joy, I don't know what will. This is good news for me today. There is a reason the gospel of Jesus Christ is called The Good News. I will keep coming to His throne and resting in His presence, asking Him for what I need for the day, begging forgiveness, praising His Holy Name, and believing that He is with me and intimately involved in my life.