Today’s blog is a reflection on Psalm 42. You can find it in my book, “Dare to Call Him Friend.” published in 2015. As I write this introduction in October 2020, I am challenged by the words I wrote years ago. I realise that this morning, I started off my day without the essentials needed to stay above the circumstances that would come my way. I failed to immerse myself in His peace and I failed to clothe myself in the garments He provides for me. Righteousness, grace, and thanksgiving.
When I turned on my computer with a mug of coffee at hand, I was greeted by several messages and urgent prayer requests from people I know well.
Homelessness looms at the door of a friend, there are no jobs in his area due to the pandemic. Another friend’s housemate is selling her home and moving away. As a result, my friend must find a room in a tight market with high rents on a limited income.
A friend’s son battles for freedom from mental illness as the system lets him down again and again. He desperately needs a miracle; the fact he is still on this earth is a testament of his inner strength and God’s sustaining power.
Although I have made it a practice of late to not listen to the news and only to read the headlines, even a brief skim of those headlines allows anxiety and fear to press in if I am not careful to turn my focus on God.
And so, this morning I will do exactly that, Focus on God. It will be a sabbatical. As soon as I edit this blog, I will be turning on worship music, and I will allow myself the luxury of reading whatever I want to read in my Bible. I will feast on His goodness; I will remind myself of who the Victor is. I will exhort my soul to be mindful of where its provision comes from. I will rest, but even in that rest, I will war. I will tear down the mental stronghold of hopelessness as I dwell an intentional focus of His peaceful, restful presence today. Dig out your Bible, turn to Psalm 42 and come, join me.
A Reflection on Psalm 42
Psalm 42:1-2 – As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
I long to live in God’s presence. Within that longing, there is a painful recognition that I am unable to stay in His presence without His strength. I thirst, and yet I fear to draw near to the Living Water that can quench my terrible thirst. But I know I must draw near, as there is no other source but Him.
Psalm 42:4 – These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.
I remember the joyful confidence and the reckless abandonment from which I would fling myself – heart first, head second – into worship and intimacy with the Lord. It never occurred to me that He wouldn’t catch me when I leapt into His arms. I only had to jump. I remember dancing in the rain, soaked to the skin, with a hundred other Jesus adorers, not caring what others thought. My eyes were fixed on Someone I could not see with my earthly eyes, but my heart instantly recognized my Beloved from afar.
Psalm 42:5-6a – Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you.
God has proven Himself faithful. I could fill a dozen journals with answers to prayer. I am profoundly grateful, and yet I long for more. I am not satisfied with His mere provision, I long for His presence.
Psalm 42:7 – Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.
Even in this arid land, I breathe a song of worship as I drift to sleep, and He joins His song with mine, tenderly watching over me.
Psalm 42:8-9a – By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
I am not satisfied with a surface relationship and I don’t want to be just an admirer of His ways. I want to be intimately acquainted with Him. His voice calls to my inner self, and I respond from that deep place within me. He submerges me under His waterfall, saturating every cell of my being with His grace.
Psalm 42:11 – Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
When my soul is tempted to believe the lies that my temporal circumstances whisper to my heart, I focus on my Beloved’s voice until His voice drowns out all other voices but His own. My hope is not only in Him; my hope is Him. I praise Him because He is good, and I praise Him for His empowering grace. I praise Him because He is worthy of my unconditional surrender and trust.
A reminder of my prayer request from a couple of weeks ago, I have one week before the yearly WebHost fees for this website, the Daily Christian Quote website, and Encouraging Bible Quotes are due. If, after prayer, you are led to help contribute, here is my Paypal link. All funds raised will go directly to web expenses.
Join in my weekly feature “Chit Chat with Kath” on YouTube, every Tuesday at 5 PM Mountain Standard Time. If you subscribe to my channel, and hit the bell once you subscribe, choosing the ‘all’ option that will pop up, you’ll receive a notification about the live chat where we often discuss the blog I wrote that week and get to know each other a bit better. Come, join a welcoming group of people. Youtube no longer sends notifications via email, so mark your calendar!
I invite you to subscribe to my YouTube channel, “What’s Up With Katherine. it doesn’t cost anything. If you hit the red icon that says ‘subscribe’ then hit the ‘bell’ and choose all, you will receive a notification stating when I posted a new video.
Follow me on Facebook. You do not need to send me a friend request to follow me. However, I welcome friend requests if you message me first to say you know me from the website or email list! Here is the Facebook link.
Sign up for my weekly email that not only includes a devotional but also seven quotes from prominent authors, speakers, and heroes of our faith. I do not use this mailing list for any other purpose!
All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
Like what you read? You can help keep this ministry in several ways. Find out more HERE
Until Next Week,
©2020 Katherine Walden