Are you having one of those days or seasons of life when the cares of your heart are many? Perhaps your mind is weighed down with disquieting thoughts that are distracting and consuming you. How do you settle your heart and mind?
This week in our reading of Psalm 119, I was struck by two verses in particular.
Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live; And do not let me be ashamed of my hope. Hold me up, and I shall be safe, And I shall observe Your statutes continually. —Psalm 119:116-117
I sensed an inner struggle with the psalmist from the opening verses of this section of the psalm, and I can relate. The psalmist begins with a declaration about those who are double-minded and then confirms his source of hope and refuge.
The Summer Soak Devotional series is no longer available on this blog. We’ve published! It is available in paperback or as an ebook through Amazon.
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com
Where do you find strength when you’re running on empty? How do you handle the pressures of life that create stress and frustration and leave you feeling weary and worn? I tend to be pretty independent, a self-starter, a go-getter and therefore often find myself trying to “do it all” and “be it all”. I like to be in control. I don’t always find it easy to ask for help. But when I try to operate in my own strength and do it all I end up frazzled, frustrated, overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s that Super Woman Syndrome! Continue reading “Get Real: Finding Real Strength!”
I was reading through one of my favorite Psalms the other morning, when one verse in particular struck me. I love when the Lord does that —when He takes the highlighter to my life through His Word, especially when it’s a familiar and well-read passage! This morning it was Psalm 91:4, “His faithfulness will be a protective shield.”
Faithfulness…stability, certainty, reliable and trustworthiness, truth.
There’s a big difference between His faithfulness and mine. Mine is flawed and fickle —often mood and circumstance-dependent.
His faithfulness is certain, steadfast, trustworthy and eternal.
In this verse there are two words that make up this word picture of God being our shield. One means to surround and encompass, which is exactly what God’s faithfulness does in my life. He surrounds and protects me.
Yes, His faithfulness is my protective shield.
But one of the definitions for this word in the original language described it as meaning, prickliness, a prickly shield.
I thought, how odd, a prickly shield? But as I pondered this longer, I realized there are times when I am just so worn out and weary or when life has just beat me down and I just can’t seem to rise above. I just need some refuge, rest and renewal. He is my prickly shield! I got the image in my mind of a porcupine whose quills pop out at the sign of danger or attack as his defensive shield. As I find refuge under the shadow of His wings, as I find my refuge in His presence, He is my prickly shield. He guards against anything that might be coming against me, while I — weary and worn — find rest and renewal in His presence.
Yes, His faithfulness is my prickly shield.
There is another word picture of God’s faithfulness as my shield. A shield can also be something used in battle to protect and defend. And God’s faithfulness is not only stable, reliable, certain and trustworthy, but it is also truth! There are times when His faithfulness is my protective shield in the battles of life. Often for me the battle is in my own mind, and this is when I need the shield of His truth. His Word shield surrounds, protects and defends my thoughts with what is true instead of the lies assailing my thoughts. The truth of God’s Word is not only my weapon to wield in battle, but also my powerful shield against the enemy.
Yes, His faithfulness is the truth of His Word, my powerful shield.
I can face my day knowing and walking out the truth that, His faithfulness will be my protective shield!
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O God, my strength and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
Have you ever had a deep tissue massage? They say a massage has almost a cathartic effect, to the point of bringing you to tears. Recently, I injured my back. My husband was applying a muscle rub to the affected area and he began to press deeply into the tissue. It was painful! I found myself in tears. But afterward… a sense of relief and my back was much better.
This idea of deep tissue massage was on my mind recently as I read Psalm 19:14. The words just seem to penetrate my heart.
How was the meditation of my heart?
Meditation in this verse is the Hebrew word, higgayon, meaning a meditation, resounding music, whispering, mocking; refers to internal thoughts or musings. It denotes meditation or thinking in the heart as opposed to spoken words. From the root word, hagah, meaning to moan, growl, mutter, meditate, plot, speak, devise, muse, imagine, utter.
Heart is leb referring to the totality of man’s inner or immaterial nature. These are the deepest, innermost feelings and thoughts.
Is there a meditation down deep in my heart that is not pleasing to the Lord?
He has been speaking to me a great deal recently about my heart attitude. I know how to say and do the right things most of the time—my outward attitude. I even think I believe them and find reasons to justify them most of the time. But the meditation of my heart can’t fool the Lord. Is there something that is blocking the flow of His Spirit at work in me? Is there something that is preventing me from being conformed more to Christ’s character?
I did some quick research on some tips and benefits of having a deep tissue massage: Continue reading “Get Real! A Heart Massage”
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah —Psalm 62:8 (ESV)
I love waterfalls. Last summer my husband and I took a trip to the Smoky Mountains and hiked waterfalls. I love the refreshing energy and calming peacefulness of the water spilling over the rocks, trees and anything else in its path. It makes me think about Psalm 62:8.
Psalm 62:8 is one of my all-time favorite, go-to verses. It helps me so often when I feel like I’m about to burst! I might be overwhelmed, stressed, angry, inconvenienced, burdened, hurt, disappointed or discouraged. But I love how practical this verse is in building and strengthening my faith in the real life of my day.
The word for pour out literally means to gush forth, to spill over. Have you ever been there? When you don’t feel like you can contain that emotion or that comment that just has to come out of your mouth? When you feel you are about to explode in anger? I love how Psalm 62:8 encourages me with the fact that I can go to God at anytime —regardless of my mood or situation and pour out my heart to Him. How often have I found myself gushing and spewing in frustration or anger or when I have been hurt? And it’s usually not a pretty scene when this happens. Or maybe instead of being a “spewer”, you are a “stuffer”. Neither one is healthy. But when I take it to the Lord—He listens, loves, counsels and heals. He changes my perspective. When I practice Psalm 62:8, it gives me an opportunity to talk it out and get it off my chest. Many times I am hurt or angry and just need to vent. He is my safe place. I can share exactly how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking and I don’t have to worry that He will judge or reject me. Many times that is all we really need—a listening ear and place to vent our frustrations and feelings. He is our refuge! And we can be real before Him, He is a big God —the Lord God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Sovereign-ruler over all things. And He tells us in Psalm 139 that before a word is on our tongue, He already knows it! He is our Creator and knows our thoughts even before we do, so why do we feel we can’t get real and honest before Him? Continue reading “Get Real: About to Burst!”