For the past week, I’ve been listening to and reading the Book of Psalms. Even people who don’t often read the scriptures are familiar with the Psalms because of their beauty. Additionally, the words of David and Asaph which were written thousands of years ago weirdly relate to my everyday life.
“The Lord is my shepherd” acknowledges my weakness and my need for a heavenly caregiver. Every child delights in Psalm 100. Who doesn’t want to “Shout to the Lord”? “Don’t be upset with evil people” comforts all of us because we struggle with wickedness that stems from others in our lives. “Sing to the Lord” speaks of the joy that the Lord wants us to experience.
However, not many of us realize how often David and other psalmist seek the Lord in their lyrics because they are desperate. It is that desperation that often draws the people of God to this familiar book. I hate to admit that often I laugh my way through many of the Psalms because of David’s vindictive attitude toward his enemy.
I’m also enthusiastic by the Lord’s insistence of having joy in our lives which is exposed through the lyrics. The Psalms are songs. Singing has a way of healing hurts and bringing joy into our inner being. This week, a good friend and member of our choir came into the weekly practice angry and upset. Because of changes in her meds, my friend, Marcia, struggles with extreme emotional reactions.
Today, she is angry because of unforgiveness. She fumes and fusses about a good friend who offended her. After deciding that she “could and should” forgive her friend, she is still unhappy. “I don’t feel any better,” she reports.
“Yeah,” she acknowledged, “but I don’t know why.” I didn’t take time to explain that singing about the goodness of the Lord accesses for us the joy of the Lord.
What is a time that you have seen the Lord’s joy change hearts? What have you learned from the Psalms? Do you think your members are able to understand the Psalms and learn from them?