Psalm 34 (click here to read the whole chapter)
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2.My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
3.O magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
4.I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
5.They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.
6.This poor man cried, and the Lordheard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
7.The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them.
8.O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9.O fear the Lord, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
10.The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.
Those ten verses are like a salve to my soul. When I was little, I was regularly lulled to sleep by the guitar stylings of Ben Ferrell. You either love this guy or don’t love this guy. But man his music invited such peace into my little life way back when and even on into my college years, where I subjected, I mean, introduced my roomates to his music, and now to my own children. If they want to get on mommy’s good side, they will ask to listen to Ben as they fall asleep, knowing how special his music is to me. On his cd, or cassette in those days, he sang and spoke scripture much like a modern day David. Specifically, he quotes ten verses which I have heard so many times, I could probably read them with his exact intonation and cadence. They so minister to me that I had Paul read them to me when I was in labor with Lizzie. Then ten years later I read them to that same daughter in the hospital with her broken arm, while she waited painfully for the night to end so her surgery could begin.
Those ten verses.
It makes me wonder, how many people since David penned those words, have been helped through the night, through the day, through the years, from the hope filled words he expressed all while he lived a nightmare.
I have seen such sadness over the last few days on facebook. Two different families, two different states, both saying goodbye to a newborn. Yet the words flowing from their hearts are not those of anger or bitterness, but insight and faithfulness. Like David, in their darkest moments, of unthinkable pain, they praise.
This chapter goes on to say
:Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
The righteous cry, and the Lord hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18.The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
He is near to the brokenhearted. If you are feeling brokenhearted, downtrodden, or crushed, turn your face to heaven, and magnify the Lord with me. Let us exalt His name together. None of us are immune to the struggles that plague our world. But I pray that in those moments, we would not turn to the quick fix through regular distractions: phone, tv, internet and even alcohol. But that we would take refuge in Him. And let His praise continually be in our mouth! If you didn’t watch the video before, take a listen now. His second song, at about minute 4, has been a favorite of mine for over 25 years.