i’m not sure if i ever read the psalms all the way through, but it’s been fun to do so this year, because little gems stick out. recently, this one caught my eye….
when the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul.
it’s just hanging out there, in the middle of the ninety-fourth psalm, not oft-quoted, not famous, not well-known. i mean, i sure as heck hadn’t heard it before.
but ever since the day i saw it, it’s been swimming around in my mind. i think that sometimes there are things we say in hopes of them being true…that is, we know them to be true, and are waiting for it to be true. for my part, i feel a whole heck of a lot of things. and in writing blogs in the last few months, that’s more obvious than ever – in a new job and a new relationship and with new roommates, it feels like i never run out of things to respond to. in fact, that’s something i’ve felt myself lamenting in my journals and my conversations – i always have something to react to.
so, the cares of my heart are indeed many.
the cares of my heart include but are not limited to (and in one capacity or another, some good, some bad) – credit card debt, building savings, my job at the bank, my job at the church, my family, my friends, having free time to do things outside like run and hike, having time to spend by myself reading books and journaling, my wonderful girlfriend, and my mentee. i have no shortage of them. i meet the criteria for having my soul consoled and cheered.
i think what i am slowly but surely realizing – and my head is catching up to this faster than my heart is – is the form of those consolations. it is natural and normal to assume that God will cheer and console us by addressing the actual issues we face. i’ll use myself as an example. debt is a concern of mine. not a huge concern, thankfully – but an annoying, irritating, niggling concern – one i’d really like to have off of my plate. it makes saving for the future slower, it makes immediate resources for immediate activities a little short. i think my soul will feel consoled and comforted on the day that i get down to a final zero. i will celebrate, i will go out for dinner, i will have the satisfaction that i have lived a life that i’ve paid for and earned and worked for, and i am very excited for that day.
but i am convinced that God doesn’t want me to wait that long to feel at peace.
bear with me because this is hard for me to get my head around, and my assumption is that you have something similar to this.
but the Kingdom truth is this: satisfaction in God always, invariably precedes satisfaction in life’s circumstances. it absolutely has to work that way. if Jesus is the Bridegroom and we are the bride, then we have to think of it like this: He is our groom for richer or poorer (as is my circumstance,) in sickness or in health, til death bring us together. in a marriage, you don’t assume your happiness and your joy only comes from whether or not the on-paper of your life is good; you draw your joy and happiness from your spouse, and you use that to get through your circumstances together.
so it is – or so it is meant to be – with God.