Monday, March 18
Once more we are reading a psalm, and so we recall that psalms are evocative poems that in saying people have sought to make connection with God for three thousand years.
Read the psalm slowly, preferably aloud and take note of the phrases that catch your attention.
O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
What caught your attention?
Here is something to think about. The psalms would have been Jesus’ “Prayer Book.” He would have committed them to memory. While he was in the wilderness Jesus likely prayed the psalms numerous times.
There is a hymn we sing that says, “I want to be like Jesus in my heart.” Read the Psalm once more and try to imagine that you are Jesus reciting it out in the wilderness.
Did you hear it differently?
One final thought inspired by this verse:
“My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night.”
Some of us experience insomnia from time to time. The Psalmist is describing lying in bed and not sleeping, and yet the time is not one of torment – rather there is joy – a sense of a soul satisfying feast.
What if we interpreted an occasion of insomnia as a call to prayer? If we could let go of the anxious and frustrating thoughts about not being able to fall asleep and accept our sleeplessness as an opportunity to commune in a very intimate and unhurried way with God, what would that be like?
Perhaps we could pray a prayer of thanksgiving and of blessing upon every person from whom we have received love. Perhaps we could call to mind our favorite stories of Jesus, placing ourselves in the stories with our imagination. Perhaps as the psalm suggests, we could imagine ourselves sitting at a great banquet table – the feast of the Kingdom of Heaven, surrounded by our loved ones who have gone before us.