the first psalm

now, repeat those verses, but with your name in place of the word ‘he’.

it was pretty late in the evening at my discipler’s apartment. we spent the last hour or so updating each other about our lives and just before we wrapped up the night in prayer, she took out her bible and opened it to the first psalm. we read the verses together, and it was then that she asked me to substitute my name into the passage so that it applied to me.

blessed is lishun, who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly
nor stands in the path of sinners
nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
but her delight is in the law of the Lord,
and in His law she meditates day and night.
lishun shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that brings forth its fruit in its season,
whose leaf also shall not wither;
and whatever lishun does shall prosper.
psalm 1:1-3

i didn’t realise it at the time, but putting my name into those verses changed what they meant to me. the psalms weren’t just songs to lyrics or poems written by david anymore. they became relevant to a new christian like me. God became not just an object of reverence but God whose words were meant for me.

which brings me to 3am on the 17th of september, 2009. it’s been 5 years since that little discipleship meeting. while reading the blog of a stranger studying thousands of miles away, i was moved by her dependence on God for providence and love. i was touched by her unwavering faith in Him and child-like desire to love Him, follow Him, be secure in Him even when she’s insecure about everything else.

and right there i heard God ask, “just how is our relationship now, lishun?

i thought back to that evening so many years ago, when i was at the beginning of a life with God. those verses, now covered in faded highlighter ink, came back to me and i wondered if they still held true the way they once did.

i have allowed sin and neglect to accumulate in the last couple of months; lust, gossip, anger, and jealousy have taken residence in me. it wasn’t shame that has kept me from confessing and repenting and being held accountable for what i’ve done. it was simply the failure to believe that God is relevant anymore.

so here i am at 3am, overwhelmed by loneliness because of the distance i have kept from the God who couldn’t possibly be more understanding, forgiving, loving than He already is.

i am far from being envious of that girl i was 5 years ago or that woman whose blog i stumbled upon tonight. i just want to be right there by the rivers of water, delighting in His law, meditating on His word.

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