Psalm 104:27-31, 33 - These all look to you, to give them their food in due season. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground ... I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
I love the Psalms for many reasons, but especially because David's humanity as a writer comes through loud and clear. When David is struggling with life, he seems to lay it all at God's feet without anything held back. He isn't writing to gain political favor, or even to show the depth of his knowledge on any topic. And he's certainly not watching for how many "likes" he might get for his inner thoughts.
In fact, there's humility in the child likeness of David's self-expression to God. In this psalm, he expresses awareness that all creatures, including himself, are dependent upon God for the breath in their lungs, and the food in their bellies. This humility can feel overly simplistic to our modern sensibilities, ignoring the economics, ecosystem, and medical understanding that goes into our provision.
I have no doubt that as king of Israel David spent plenty of time wrestling with the complex issues of his day, making decisions that would prosper his land. Yet, he also seemed able to "unplug" from that role and marvel at the reality of an all-powerful God at work behind all the powers of the earth.
This makes me wonder: can I do that?
I am certainly no king. I'm a wife to one, mother of two, counselor to a few, and friend to some. Yet, I find it virtually impossible to have this kind of humility in my conversations with God. The idea of food coming from His hand doesn't elicit praise from my heart, but fear that I am not doing enough to control the economic future of my family.
I notice that when David waxes poetic about God in control of all aspects of this glorious creation, his response is not fear, but awe and praise. And that's when I realize that I'm fighting God for control, instead of resting in His powerful embrace. The weariness of my soul tells the story that I was not made to live like this.
So, I take a cue from David and carve out a few minutes with a pen and page to utter the truest thoughts of my heart, the ones that feel too humble and simple for others to hear. I scribble my fears and anger, too. And somehow the living God -- the One who sustains the breath in my lungs -- meets me in that moment of exhale and restores my weary soul. After all, God knew we needed an example of how to be human in relationship with the divine, and He gave us the Psalms.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for including a poet's day-to-day experiences, thoughts, and emotions in Your living, breathing Word. May we accept the invitation to also humbly open our hearts before You. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by AmyRuth Bartlett.
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