psalm 18

last week, i spent some time in making a gift for a friend whom i was meeting for the first time in four years. i felt she needed reminding about who God is and be encouraged because of it, so i wrote a portion of scripture from psalm 18 onto some white tissue and framed it up for her.

i love you, O Lord, my strength.
the Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
i call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
v.1-3

on the way home from my too-brief time in singapore, i was in tears just thinking about how pathetic and miserable i was the night before. the disappointment of knowing that i am just as susceptible to feelings of worthlessness even without a major tragedy in my life, even when i live in comfort, was beyond my comprehension.

i am known for being responsible, capable, producing good work. to be reduced to mediocrity because i am struck with feelings of not wanting to get out of bed? that’s unheard of and definitely unacceptable.

for some reason, i started writing poetry in my head, in the bus.

i am dismayed, Lord; my heart breaks in the crushing grip of my enemies’ lies. they strike at my spirit, they tear me from You. hear my cry, Lord; i long for the salve of Your remedy. Your voice heals my spirit, for it’s what is true.

before going to sleep, i was compelled to finish reading the psalm that i framed for my friend. my eyes skimmed the familiar verses and landed on a couple of lines further down.

in my distress i called to the Lord; i cried to my God for help.
from His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears.
the Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded.
He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies,
great bolts of lightning and routed them.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
He drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
they confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me.
You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
the Lord lives! praise be to my Rock! exalted be God my Savior!
v.6,13-14,16-19,28,46

was there relief? a sudden lifting of a burden i had felt too heavy to bear? was i encouraged? did i sleep well? there was, i was and i did, but with the lights on because i wanted to just drift away from the grief that was beginning to overwhelm me again.

but between those verses above, david tells of God’s wrath towards His people’s enemies, the things that crush their spirit, and His mercy towards those who love Him, trust Him and depend entirely on Him for eventual victory. the earth shook, the fire consumed. His might overcame.

to think that a psalm i thought would encourage my friend, ended up being the vessel through which God poured out the strength i needed to get up and send necessary emails and make phone calls today.

i’m just hanging on.

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