Psalm 42 as a Lament

Writers, here is some inspiration for the upcoming publication. Let’s consider Psalm 42 as a lament. In the first verse, note the author’s utter desperation.

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One d
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.

Here is his encouraging self-talk as he reminds himself to trust in God.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

Then the author pours out his problems and honest emotions because God can handle it (and He already knows our heart anyway).

I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

How desperate are you for deliverance from your situation? Will you trust Jesus to take you out of it? Be completely honest about your problems and emotions. Write several laments as poems. Then write them as essays. Then write them as prayers. Write letters to those who have sinned against you. Then submit your most powerful piece of writing to Draw Near. Make sure it follows all of the guidelines for Draw Near’s next publication. (Please participate in this writing exercise even if you never plan to submit. This cathartic artistic expression of your negative emotions can be healing.)

Wrapped Up in God’s Word (poem by me)

Ruth and I go to lunch,
David and I dance sometimes,
I am blind with Paul,
and often weep with Jesus.

In the Scripture, I make my bed,
I live there and sleep there,
among the words,
I believe them,
They are all I see.

You can find me,
in a pasture of Psalms,
swinging from a fig tree,
When the branch breaks,
I fly into the Lake of Galilee,
And swim in God’s mercy.

I hoist the sails,
for the Holy Spirit,
See, I have become part of the ship!
Look at my palm and you see
w o r d s.

*Draw Near offers free Christian ebooks here: https://drawneartochrist.com/ .

Excuses (poem by me)

I was lounging in plain sight,
He appeared and said “Write!”
I said, “Paper is fresh out,”
Legal pads, college-lined, and rose-scented paper
suddenly delivered in fresh stacks all about,
Then He vanished in a foggy purple vapor.

Again I began lounging outright,
He reappeared and told me to “Write!”
I said, “Pen just ran out of ink,”
Ballpoints, gel pens with comfort grips,
feathered quills and inkwells came about in a blink,
Then He disappeared like the sun during an eclipse.

Once more He was there. “Write,” He said.
I replied, “I am afraid to see what’s in my head.”
He said, “Don’t be afraid, dear daughter.”
Then He produced a lake of still water.

Wearily, I looked inside.
Carefully, I wrote.
Tragically, I shrieked.
Frantically, I cried.
Then He held me,
And I was satisfied.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” -Psalm 23:2

© 2015 Kim Bond

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More Than Luck

Psalm 121:7 says, “The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life…”

The sound of screeching tires sends a chill down my spine. The terror probably started with the car accident I experienced as a child. My dad was driving my brother and me home from a Christmas party when our car was hit by a drunk driver. The car was incredibly mangled, and my dad and I were hospitalized for awhile. Yet when I look at the picture of that car, I wonder how we survived at all! People have always said we were lucky, and for a number of years I agreed. Now, I am absolutely positive it was not luck. It was the Lord who protected our lives.

A similar experience happened again when I was a teenager. I was driving at night down a curvy, two-lane road when suddenly my car slipped off the edge of the pavement into a small ditch. I over-corrected by pulling the steering wheel too much and flipped the car completely upside down!  My door was jammed, but I was able to crawl out of the window. My only injury was a tiny scratch. For years, I considered myself merely lucky.

It wasn’t until I saw how the Lord protected my son that I truly understood how God has kept watch over me and my loved ones. I could be called somewhat of a “helicopter mom” because of the way I have always watched over my son. That’s not my nature, but it is something I have learned because of his inordinate attraction to dangerous situations.

I suppose this can be said of many boys, but with my kid it seems like something more. It like there is an invisible force that means to do him harm. If I shared every harrowing encounter he has experienced, we would be here all day so I will just share a few examples. He nearly choked to death—thanks to God, he lived. He nearly drowned while swimming in a river when he was pinned under by the current—thanks to God, he still lives. Then there is his asthma—thanks to God, he is well.

I trust God’s Word to do exactly what He says in Psalm 121:7. Psalm 121:7 says, “The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life…” I need only reflect on the wonderful ways the Lord has kept this promise (even before I knew Him). What greater love is there than this? Only that He would lay His own life down for us that we may have eternal life.

Although our physical bodies may one day die, we can fully trust in God’s protection over our eternal lives if we have received salvation. If we accept Christ’s blood as payment for our sins, we can know that we will receive the promise of eternal life. God is full of love, true to His promises, and never lies. I pray your life and the life of your loved ones is anointed by the protection offered in Psalm 121:7 and that all of you accept His blood as payment for your sins that you all may receive eternal life. God bless!

*Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Praying the Bible

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According to Ephesians 6:18, we should “…pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…” Besides praying dreams, thoughts, and lists, we can also pray our Bibles. Here are a couple of ways:

  • Promise Book. In this way to pray the Bible, you find a promise in the Bible to support your request. For instance, I pray for healing in my back because Isaiah 53:5 says, “…with his stripes we are healed.”
  • Conversationally. In this way, God speaks first. You read along in the book of Matthew and stop at Matthew 5:28 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Your prayer might sound like, Forgive me, Lord, for looking at people with lust. Help me to see with pure eyes. 

This is just the beginning. There are many more ways to pray your Bible. Click here to read an example of a beautiful and elaborate prayer using Scripture.
If you have kids, make sure they have their own Bible so they can know the promises of God and engage in their own prayer conversations with Him.

When you pray God’s will according to His Word, you put God ahead of your own desires. He will be eager to hear and answer these types of prayers because they have a pure motive. This is a wonderful way for you (and your family) to draw near to God.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!