The end of a Psalm

Isn’t it strange how sometimes all of the dangling strings of life make you feel tense and worried, like everything is tenuous and about to come unraveled and then other times, when nothing has really changed, you somehow just know that “all must be well” and a strange sense of calm is about you?  And you love your children and your husband and your crazy unpredictable life.

Maybe it’s partly hormones.  Or mostly hormones.  Or… all hormones. Who knows, maybe hormones are not even a factor.  Some days you just feel like the beginning of a Psalm.

4:1 Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

And sometimes you fee like the end of a Psalm.

4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, LORD,
make me dwell in safety.

Today, I feel like the end of a Psalm.  Only a few days ago I really felt like the beginning of one.  I know I’ll have plenty of beginning of a Psalm days in my life.  But I’m thankful for the days when I am aware of God’s permanent hand of mercy and providence on my life.  He is there all of the time, ever merciful and ever good, laying before me a feast in the presence of my enemies, even on my beginning of a Psalm days.  But so often I choose not to partake of the feast.  The feast of Himself.  He lays Himself out as a feast for my heart and my heart clings to thoughts that don’t fill or satisfy me.  Clinging to fear and empty hopes is like chewing on cardboard compared with the glory of feasting in my heart on my Savior.  I just have to learn to stop fasting from Him.  So often when we ought to be fasting from our fears and our desires, we are instead fasting from His word — the very words of life — and thereby fasting from Him.

This is why I long for Communion. Oh, how I miss weekly communion so very much.  It was my regular reminder that Christ is the feast of my life, He is my sustenance and my bread from Heaven and everything else in comparison with Him is like consuming cardboard.  Tasteless, unsatisfying and not really very chock full of health value.  Communion is something that many are afraid that if they do it too often it will become less meaningful or less valuable.  But if in it we are learning that our hearts must take in the feast of Christ alone, that He is our life source, we must ask ourselves if eating regular meals ruins the point of eating.  Obviously we’d answer no because we know that if we decide to stop eating regularly (other than for the purpose of fasting and prayer) just because we feel that doing it so regularly has ruined our appreciation for it, we will become malnourished (though, granted, some of us have more substantial reserves than others!)  The regularity of eating doesn’t diminish its importance or meaning to us.  In fact, the more we eat really good food, the more we appreciate the wonderful richness of it and the more discerning eaters we become, recognizing less flavorful and less healthful foods for what they are (usually empty carbs!)  It’s also true that if we sit at table together we will become more aware of how our lives affect others (our elbows… are they knocking into our neighbors?  Our mouths… are we chewing with them open?)  The same is true of the Lord’s Supper.  If we savor Him often, recognizing that our union with one another is inextricably linked to our savoring of HIM together, our spiritual taste buds become more and more discerning as to what is rich and flavorful and what is empty of health for us and useless or hurtful for the body of Christ.

Well, somehow my feeling like the end of a Psalm lead into a soliloquy on the beauty and richness of weekly communion.  I’m not quite sure how that happened but hey, that’s what a blog is about.  Stream of consciousness, baby!

Yes, tonight I feel like the end of a Psalm.

5:11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

12 Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

May I be reminded of the feast that is ever before me whenever I feel like the beginning of a Psalm.

5:1 Listen to my words, LORD,
consider my lament.
2 Hear my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.

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