I started reading the Psalms when I began studying 1 Samuel. It seemed fitting, to read David’s story while also reading his laments and praises to God from his perspective.
This morning I woke up wrought with frustration. My two oldest boys were in the other room yelling loudly while playing with their Legos, and my youngest was sweetly saying, “Mama?” from his crib. I can handle the sweet “Mama?” coming from across the hall. But the shouting about Legos? Why does this happen everyday?
However, I don’t have much time to scold my sons for playing too loudly. There’s dishes on my counter from the night before, mouthes to feed, bodies to clothe. I move through the day, aware of my own frustrated shouts, and eventually sit down to soak in the Psalms, even if it means a toddler will only squirm across my lap in distraction.
He reached down on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
I don’t know how many times I’ve gone through the Psalms. They feel more like easy-reading and a place to rest my feet when it comes to Bible reading. I come here when my mind doesn’t want to think deeply about the Israelites, the Pharisees, Jesus’ parables. The Psalms are like fresh water, easy to digest and pure.
Just the other day I stood in worship among the Church, and I arrived with nothing. I came to my Savior with the word “expectant” on my tongue, and I was sure of Him. It felt for a moment as if my mind was transformed by Him, totally clear on the solid truth of His provision for my life. I rested in Him, I felt no fear because I had nothing to lose.
And then Monday comes, and like a cruel wind, it brings the reminder of responsibility and duty and the chaos of the world. Today, it felt like pain came with it. Painful reminders of how cruel this world is, how imminent death is, how unkind it can seem to be human.
Sometimes, we forget what Christ has done. What His work declares over us. I have a tendency to think that He saved me once, and eventually, I will fall back into the waters. I will be like doubtful Peter, who walks on the water and falls quickly in. I think that I will always need rescuing from my pitfalls, and He will be reluctant to save me, as if the waters deserve a sinner like me.
I think if we live a life that leaves the blood of His sacrifice in our wake, if we walk knowing what His work has done, we are in the spacious place He prepared for us. It isn’t like the place He has for us in Heaven, because we’re still here, in this pain-dripping place of the world. But He has rescued us, He rescues us. We get to live in a spacious place where we are set free.
We think we fall into the water, away from His grasp, into waves of doubt, fear, pain. We think we are falling away, or we think that we have escaped grace, mercy, or truth.
But He already rescued us. He already pulled us out of the water. He already said, “Her. She’s mine. I delight in her. I’ll rescue her every day, every minute if I need to.” He pulls us into the spacious place.
And just because we fall once, just because we get swallowed for a moment into what this world has so cruelly handed us, does not mean we start from the bottom of the ocean all over again. It doesn’t mean that the waves swallow us whole, out of His palm, away from His kindness. It just means that for a moment, our gaze was pulled away from His eyes.
If He has taken a hold of you, you can’t run away from Him. He isn’t going anywhere, and frankly, neither are you. He’s in it for the long haul, for every moment, for all your mess ups, and for every time you think the waters are too heavy for you to breathe.
He delights in us, like a father delights in his daughter as she twirls around him, slips and falls, shouts in his face.
He never stops loving her.
He never stops loving you.