King David wrote many psalms. What is so cool about them is that he just laid out his feelings before God. Sometimes he was angry; sometimes he was full of praise. Sometimes David was fearful, and other times he was discouraged. I think that God included the psalms in our Bible so that we would know that emotions are natural and that He is not surprised by anything that we may feel or say. When you read them, don’t stop at the beginning; read all the way to the end, because the psalmist will inevitably end with “but God.”
A couple of weeks ago during our weekly prayer time, our chaplain, Mr. Totten, shared Psalm 16 with us. The last verse said, “You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures.” This verse reminded me that even during this continuing time of Covid, with the fear of becoming infected and the stress of being isolated all around us, it is God who provides us with joy and eternal pleasures. You see, the psalm ends with, “but God.”
This verse brought to mind a statement that was made during a Member Care session that was offered to our staff at the beginning of April. A group called Safe Place Ministry provided us with the time to reflect on how the long pandemic and the consequent restrictions have affected us. One of the leaders encouraged us to ask the following question on a daily basis, “How can I put life back into myself?” She referred to Psalm 42 as she spoke, which is a psalm that ends with “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Again, the psalm ends with, “but God.”
When we trust in God, who we know has everything under control, who loves us more than we could ever imagine, and who fills us with joy and hope, we can be confident that God is the answer to this question. He has wired each of us differently, so activities, places, and ideas provide us with joy in ways that are unique to us. I encourage you today to ask yourself the question, “How can I put life back into myself?” Ask God to guide you to ways that you can experience His joy and love even during this extended period of the pandemic. Remember that even when you are sad or fearful or angry, don’t stop there. Be sure you get to the end of the psalm where God will intervene. Don’t miss out on the “but God.”
Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.