The Psalms are one of the most treasured gifts we have that is often hidden. It is not that we do not have access to them. It is not that they are difficult to read or understand. But most people consider this the book that holds the middle of some Bibles. They are seen as poems or pretty writings. And sure, there are poems. Yes, the writings are beautiful. Simply looking at this only would miss the point. The Psalms are so much more.
The Psalms are songs written as an offering to God. They hold timeless thoughts and prayers. There are songs of triumph and praise. There are prayers of rescue and relief. There are cries out to God to simply be heard – just to have God speak. There are questions and sometimes there are answers. There are brutal words and comforting thoughts. In other words, they can often be the songs of our own hearts.
When we don’t know what to pray or to say or to think, the Psalms can be a welcome word. They can offer a frame for our thoughts that we can present to the God that loves us and cares for us. They provide permission to struggle with our feelings and our situations. They remind us that we are not the first to have doubts or worries. And it is as if we are praying prayers that have been offered for all ages – praying with our brothers and sisters in other lands and other times. The joy is that God hears every prayer. He pays attention to our pleas. He is with us in our most difficult times. He does not leave us.
If you are struggling today, try reading a Psalm. If you are celebrating today, find a Psalm. If you are having an average, okay day – there is a Psalm to offer. Spend some time in prayer. May the Psalms offer words your heart feels but your lips cannot seem to speak. May you be renewed.
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery