December 2, 2020

When Things Seem Hopeless

Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.
Ps. 111:2
To meditate on the psalms is to study the great works of God. And to study them is to delight in them. There's something light and airy about this verse which isn't necessarily dispelled by the rest of the psalm. And so I take it on faith that it's okay to read the psalms simply for the enjoyment of it.

But there are some psalms which aren't so delightful, and yet I read those, too. The point being that studying the psalms and recounting the great works of God does more than simply provide entertainment. Studying them also lends me strength when things seem hopeless, either by instructing me on what God did in the lives of other people, or by guiding me to list God's great works in my own life.

Has God parted the sea for me, or rained down bread from heaven? No. But also Yes. I can't say these things have literally happened. But I can say that obstacles have been cleared and sustenance has been provided—not in the kind of miracle that others would wonder at, but certainly in ways that amaze me. And this indeed delights me. But it also encourages and strengthens me.

Great are your works, O Lord. Thank you for the ability to study them and for the time you give me to spend in your word. Continue to increase my delight that I may gain strength and courage from those who were inspired to record how you were present in their midst; in the Name of him who taught me to pray: Our Father...

Though this hymn is over twelve centuries old, many of the in-your-face Christian stanzas of this particular version appear to have been devised quite recently—unfortunately at the cost of most of the beautiful Hebrew symbolism.

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