Saturday, August 01, 2009

Lyrics in My Heart

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Caleb, an age 4 character in Hallmark movie “Sarah, Plain and Tall” hears a farmer playing a song. Later Caleb says, “Maybe I could get a harmonica. I could carry it with me wherever I go. It would be like a little music in my pocket.”

While re-reading through the Psalm lyrics, the songs of the Bible, a few of the phrases reverberated in my mind. Just as favorite melodies of a song make laps in the mind, these psalm phrases latched onto my heart — like words backed with Velcro.

One is “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Psalm 17:8). Because of David’s wording in his prayer-song, my personal requests became more specific. Because I’ve seen mother hens shelter vulnerable chicks, I could visualize being sheltered beneath God’s wingspan.

However, on those occasions when the faith gauge is low, different words from the psalms cycle around in my thoughts, “How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1).

This question from David comforts me. God doesn’t mind when my doubt is verbalized to him. Honesty with God is not a bad thing. He already knows if I’m feeling out of touch, needy, and my questioning words don’t shock God. Like a chick, I may not be able to see his face, but I still know where I am—under his protective wing.

Another psalm meditates on God’s “works” and “mighty deeds,” recalling times when God helped the Hebrews. Their walk on dry ground through the Red Sea is recalled. “Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen” (77:19).

The Hebrews knew God cut that swath through volumes of water, and although God’s footprints were not seen, he opened a path of escape from enemies and opened a trail to strengthening the Hebrews’ faith.

On a rainy day, my young son slipped out of my sight and left our country yard traveling into farm dangers -- ponds, cattle, and woods. Scanning damp ground outside our fence, I prayed to see small footprints, and, thank God, tiny mud-depressions led the way to my child. Much like that, I recently tracked God through the Psalms.

After this recent read-through of the 150 Psalms, I again heard an orchestra in my heart—ancient lyrics spinning round and round. The many “sightings” of God’s footprints within the psalms remind me of his care.

Today, remember that you are the apple of his eye. If doubts and fears arise ask God your questions, whatever their subject. Read a few psalms each day until the imprints of his good care are stamped on your heart. Then you can have many lyrics resonating too, music that goes with you, much like music in pockets.

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