Tag Archives: light

psalm 26

psalm 26

Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.

I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites.
I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.

I was my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O Lord, proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds.

O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells. Do not sweep my should away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men, in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes.

But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.

When I first sat down to this psalm tonight, I felt like I needed to add, “Yyeeaaahh OPPOSITE DAY!” to the ending.

I read this through one time and felt all of my inadequacies bubble up to the surface. I felt the weight of my sin nullifying the words that David writes. The reality of, “Man, I could never say this about myself!” overpowering the beauty of the Gospel and the even more real reality of redemption.

I read through this again and felt an overwhelming sense of praise and peace flood over me – a recognition that, yeah, I can never ever eevvveerrr say this about myself. But, I can say this about Jesus.

I can look to the One who bore my sin on His body and say, “I do not sit with men of falsehood…I sit in the presence of Jesus, the One they call the Christ, and I proclaim thanksgiving and tell of His wondrous deeds.”

And because of Jesus I truly can say, “O Lord, I love the place where Your glory dwells.” O how I long for those moments of glory – of heaven on earth – of the Spirit of God to be so evident in my life that I can’t ignore His movement any longer! I crave the grace He pours out morning by morning! And from that posture of my heart, I get where David is coming from.

I don’t think David has illusions of being sinless or in no need of mercy – I think he just has a proper view of who his God is, and because of that, he has a proper view of himself.

We can, along with David, boldly proclaim that our feet stand on level ground because Christ has paved the way for us. He has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light, and empowers us to walk in that light.

Praise be to God whose steadfast love is ever before our eyes!!

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psalm 18

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I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (v1-2)

When I was 18 years old, I forced myself to believe these 2 verses.

Wait a second…I was 18. And it’s psalm 18. I JUST PUT THAT TOGETHER. #GodSighting

I digress.

My freshman year of college was SO HARD you guys. So. Hard. I moved away from the familiar and felt so lost. I was in a sea of strangers with no connection; on a team with no teammates. I had nowhere to go.

So, I decided to read my Bible like any good Southern Baptist girl should do when she has no other solution.

(Side note: there typically is no other solution, so we should just start with Jesus.)

I came to psalm 18 and immediately thought, “Yes. This. This is truth and I need to know it in the depths of my soul.”

I would repeat these verses to myself every day.
This is who God is: He is my rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, horn of my salvation, and stronghold. He is the One I take refuge in.

Even if I feel distant from Him, it doesn’t change who He is.

The truth of God’s character and who He is toward me pulled me out of some krap.

But

it doesn’t end there.

The kewlest thing about God’s Word is that it truly is living and active.

When I re-read this psalm tonight, truth that I need to know in the depths of my soul leapt of the page/screen:

 He rescued me, because He delighted in me. (v19)

For it is You who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. (v28)

Yes, Lord. Yes.

He delights in me.
He lightens my darkness.

He fills the space in my heart that nothing and no one else can.
He shows up in ways only He knows how.

He truly is the One in whom I take refuge.
He is the One who, through Jesus, has brought great salvation and steadfast love to you & I.

Man, Lord.
I do love You.

read all of psalm 18 here!

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psalm 4

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Remember that time I started this whole “write about a psalm a day to become more disciplined” thing? And remember that time when, 3 days in, I missed 2 days in a row, thus ruining my perfect run?

Well, the cool thing is, God’s grace is bigger than me missing 2 days of writing. And, the other cool thing is, His Word draws me back. Just because I messed up doesn’t mean I’m completely out of the game. Coach isn’t putting me on the bench because I’m a big screw up. If anything, He’s inviting me back in, pushing me back onto the field, cheering me on as I continue growing in my game.

So, here we are. Psalm 4.

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? (Selah)
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. (Selah)
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

This will probably be the first time of many that I say something along these lines: I am so thankful that there is a book in the Bible that articulates all kinds of feels. I am so thankful that there is a writer – a man after God’s own heart – that admits to being in distress. That begs God to be gracious with him. That agonizes over shame and vanity and lies.

And I’m so thankful that same man acknowledges that the only One who can grant safety is the Most High God.

I don’t think we admit our distress enough. I don’t think we are real with one another as much as we should be.

I know I’m not. Just today it was like pulling teeth for me to finally articulate to one of my best friends why I was feeling so wonky about life.

But here’s what happens when we admit distress to one another, and to God: He lifts up the light of His face upon us.

When we sit across the table from one another, sharing stories of heartache and hurt, we can look one another in the eye and say, “I am so sorry. I am right there with you.” And I think that is some of the light of God’s face shining upon us.

I think God puts more joy in our hearts when we lock hands and say, “What? You too? I thought no one but myself…” (that’s a C.S. Lewis quote, b-t-dubs, but it’s totally appropriate.)

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someone’s watching you

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This afternoon I got to watch my favorite thing in real life – college softball. Mizzou played Illinois and I got to watch the beloved Tigers…well…smash the Illini 17-5. Sorry Illinois, but it was awesome!

One of my favorite things about going to college softball games is getting to see all of the young girls that come out in droves to see the older athletes competing in the sport they love. I got to sit surrounded by young ladies that love the game and love watching the cool older girls play.

After the game was over, a Mizzou player walked behind the bleachers were I was sitting near some younger players and these little ones were GIDDY. They couldn’t get over how close they were to this collegiate athlete. They couldn’t believe they got to watch her play and see her team dominate.

One of them couldn’t stop talking about how they shared a number and used the same bat!

I love – love – witnessing moments like this.
I love seeing young girls bright-eyed and dreamy about what they could be some day.
I love being reminded that our lives are seen.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

People are watching us. As Christians, we have eyes on us constantly – usually waiting for us to fail so they can point and say, “See…I told you…”

We must be aware of our actions. When I strike out, I need to watch my words and the way I respond to the umpire. When I’m struggling in a friendship, I need to check my selfishness and seek reconciliation. When I get dumped, I don’t need to bad-mouth the dude or dishonor him as a brother in Christ.

Not so that I can pretend that I have it all together. Rather, so that others can see Jesus and His grace at work in my life. So that they can see the Light within me and know a hope that is greater than anything this world can offer. So that they may give glory to my Father in heaven.

The world wants me to get mad, live in bitterness, and seek revenge. Jesus wants me to submit to Him and trust in His love – that no matter what, He is my constant comfort, satisfaction, strength, peace, and joy.

I may not be the college softball player little ones are looking up to anymore, but I am a follower of Christ that others look to as a representative of Jesus.

May we all carry Him close to us & walk well with Him.

*ps, that picture at the top is 1 of 5 (FIVE) home runs the Tigers hit today! #BombCity!!

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