"I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord, my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me. O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
"Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord, my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me. Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save me for Your mercies' sake.
"Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord."
Psalm 30:1-5, 11-12; 31:14-16, 19-20, 24
Wow, I love the Word! When my heart is hurting or is anguishing over something, my soul yearns for the Word. And I usually hit the Psalms first...like the lengthy passage above. The Word brings such comfort, such healing, such perspective. It clears out my ears so I can hear what the Lord is saying to me about my circumstances. The Word lifts my eyes UP, so that I can see the Father and realize that my circumstances are not in control of me.
Most of you know, but for the sake of those who do not, let me share our employment situation: My husband Tim is a freelance commercial photographer. He is very artistic and has an amazingly creative "eye" in photography. He would really like to devote himself to art, but has made a very responsible and admirable decision to find a more lucrative means of supporting his little family. He is still in photography, just a more commercial vein. The interesting part of his employment is that he is a freelancer - meaning he takes contract jobs and is not an employee on anyone's payroll. The freelance world can be amazingly fruitful - just depending on how things line up. For our family, we have settled into a roller coaster rhythm of BIG paychecks from a long job.....then NO paychecks from the lagtime in between jobs. It is difficult, I'm not going to lie! Over the past 8 years of our marriage, we have learned a lot about money, about each other, about contentment, about failure, and about God's faithfulness. This has been God's path for us - and we look back and see His goodness and mercy following us for sure!
Today just happens to be one of those days where there is more month at the end of the money. I know you can all identify to some extent. This is the kind of day where I have to choose to plug my faith into the Provider and let Him work the knots out of my stomach with a large dose of His peace. And I get plugged in and dosed up through the Word. As I sat on my couch and read those passages in Psalms earlier, tears welled up in my eyes as I felt the Holy Spirit massaging my heart with His truth. I felt the sweet, comforting presence of my Savior surrounding me, protecting me and reassuring me. He is faithful! He is good! I can trust Him!
Your Savior can do this for you, too. Whatever is weighing on your shoulders or causing you distress....God can lift it. Find a spot on YOUR couch and invite Him to come sit with you as you open the Word. And I'm just sayin' - the Psalms are a great place to begin!
"For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace..." Is. 55:12a