“I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.” (Psalm 138: 1 – 2)
Recently, say the last few weeks, I have been thinking about my faith journey in a different way. I have been considering how the ebb and flow of my strength and health is impacting my faith life and journey. Not that I am losing faith in the Lord God – but that I feel the ebb and flow in my own strength and ability to hold firm and keep moving forward. I find myself “resting” more in the Lord than surging forth. Some days I drag myself to the keyboard and summing the energy to write and say something meaningful. I tell you truly – more often than not – I am not sure where the conviction and impact comes from in what I write. It all just sort of flows out of me, and I am not even sure it originated in me.
“On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.” (Verse 3)
I think one of the main reasons I keep writing in spite of the fatigued and weakness is that I need that strength in my life to keep me going. I need the energy and conviction that comes when I write so that I have the energy and conviction to keep going.
“All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth. They shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD.
For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away.” (Verses 4 – 6)
I tell the Divine, daily, about my fatigue and fears. I ask for help in getting through the day, and praise the Lord when I felt the Divine’s presence. Lately I have taken up the spiritual disciple of the spiritual examen. For those who do not know, that is a practice of thinking over the day and seeing where the Divine has been a presence and when the time or times were that you felt at a distance from the Divine. Other terms are consolation/desolation, joy/sadness and such positive and negative impacts. It is not to reveal the mistakes you make but to find ways to live more wisely and fully in the light of the Divine.
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me. The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” (Verses 7 – 8)
“Do not forsake the work of your hands.” The psalmist gets it absolutely correct when he make this petition. The Lord God may may not have intended, and I firmly believe did not plan, for me to develop all the illnesses and conditions that I have. But the Divine to create me to have an inquiring and pondering mind, and to seek out the Divine Self. As I am sure the psalmist was created. So our plea is that the Lord God would keep us within the Divine purpose – despite and in spite of whatever might befall us. Selah!