Bible in 90 Days Update- Why I Love the Psalms

Today is Day 43 of my current reading through the Bible in 90 days.  I headed into the Psalms this week.

As I said in last week’s post, I find the Psalms difficult to read when reading through in 90 days. The Psalms are poetry, and I want to take the time to read them slowly and reflectively like poetry. It is difficult to do when I am reading 20-25 Psalms at one sitting.

I do enjoy the Psalms, however, when I can meditate and think on the words I’m reading.

I love to recognize the familiar words of praise and worship songs. So many of our modern day praise and worship style songs come from the wording in Psalms. I will be reading along and notice the words and find myself singing in my head (hopefully not out loud if I’m reading in a public place!).

But the main reason, I love the Psalms: The writers of the Psalms knew what it was like to feel discouraged.

So many times we feel the need as Christians to be happy, bright, cheerful. “How are you?” “Oh fine, blessed, and how are you?” I’m as guilty as the next person. I may be feeling really crappy. I hurt from my Fibromyalgia. I’m feeling super stressed about getting everything on my to do list done. But if you ask me at church how it’s going, my answer is probably going to be, “Oh, we’re doing well- just busy.”

The Psalmists didn’t feel this pressure to be perfect. Have you ever really listened to the words they used?
“My soul is drowning in darkness.
    How long can You, the Eternal, let things go on like this?”
“The bonds of death encircled me;
    the currents of destruction tugged at me;The sorrows of the grave wrap around me;
    the traps of death lay in wait for me.”

But I am a worm and not a human being,
    a disgrace and an object of scorn.”

Because Your anger has infected the depths of my being and stolen my health,
    my flesh is ill.
My bones are no longer sound”

He reached down and drew me
    from the deep, dark hole where I was stranded, mired in the muck and clay.”

These are not our usual Christian platitudes. The Psalmists spoke in voices of gloom and despair and utter frailty. They were realistic about the way things were for them. But, in spite of their failings, their despair, their hopelessness (or maybe because they had admitted those things), they found God’s grace. they experienced God’s restoration.
You are my King, my God!
    You ordained victories for Jacob and his people! You are our victory, pushing back the enemy;
    at the sound of Your name, we crush the opposition.

God is our shelter and our strength.
    When troubles seem near, God is nearer, and He’s ready to help.”

For so is God,
    our True God, forever and ever;
    He will be our guide till the end.”

So I can relate to the Psalmists. I, too, have felt despair. And may I, too, admit my failings and wait on God who never fails.      

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