Looking around at all that is going on in the world, it is easy to become discouraged. We are tempted to distract ourselves from our internal soul agitation by diving into a tub of ice cream and a good Netflix binge session. There are few things I love more than an evening on my couch with Coolhaus Campfire S’More, my daughter, and a comedy series. While that is a comforting short term solution, in the long run we will face even more problems if we continue to use food and entertainment as a bandaid for our emotions and a means to defer our spiritual questions.
Instead, I suggest turning to the Psalms. This sounds trite, I know. But, bear with me.
Usually when I am knee deep in pain or grief, I can’t think straight as my mind swirls through all that hurts. Talking to other people helps, but they are not always available which can amplify my sense of loneliness. After many years of wading through some tough stuff, I know the damage done to my outlook when I allow negative thoughts too much real estate in my head. Now, instead of ruminating on all that is wrong, I force myself to ponder some of God’s words. Here I am reminded of His mercy, His forgiveness, His acceptance, His invitation to rest, and His unfailing love.
It is hard to pull out the bible and hunt for the words that will be the balm for your soul when your world is falling apart. So, I wanted to share some of the verses which bring me comfort.
I am here and I call, You will hear me, O God, turn Your ear to me; hear my words. Display Your great love, You whose right hand saves Your friends from those who rebel against them. Guard me as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of Your wings from the violent attack of the wicked. (Psalm 16:6-7)
Father of the orphan, defender of the widow, such is God in His holy place. God gives the lonely a home to live in; He leads the prisoners forth into freedom. (Psalm 68:6-7)
I love the Lord for He has heard the cry of my appeal for He turned His ear to me in the day when I called Him. They surrounded me, the snares of death, with the anguish of the tomb; they caught me sorrow and distress. I called upon the Lord’s name. O Lord, My God, deliver me! (Psalm 116:1-4)
How gracious is the Lord, and just; our God has compassion. The Lord protects the simple hearts; I was helpless so He saved me. (Psalm 116:5-6)
Rescue me, Lord, from my foes, for I seek refuge in You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your kind spirit guide me on ground that is level. For Your name’s sake, Lord, give me life; in Your righteousness lead my soul out of distress. (Psalm 143:9-11)
Wherever you are today, I pray that the Holy Spirit is a balm to your soul, that you will experience the peace of Christ which surpasses all understanding, and that you find God’s loving presence right where you are.