Daily Smiles

8 By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8

How is your memorization of this Psalm going? Just checking.

Have you ever noticed the last thing that goes into your head at night is usually what stays with you throughout the night? Sometimes it’s a song, a funny video, or just plain news. We can certainly positively (and negatively) impact our dream patterns just by what we listen and see right before we hit the sack.

David seemed to have a song on his heart before he went to sleep. Did David think of the Lord all his waking hours? Probably not, but he was able to recognize His huge influence in his life. Just being able to acknowledge (even to yourself) throughout the day that we are not alone and loved makes a big difference in how we filter what life throws at us.

Take time every day – and often – to smile at what He’s doing in your life.

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Heights and Depths

6 My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me. Psalm 42:6-7

David seems to be alternating between a “woe is me” and an “I stand amazed” viewpoint. He’s experienced the worst of the worst, and of course the best of the best. He’s had it all, seen it all, and done it all. He shot up from obscurity to be the highest leader in the land. His fall from favor must have been brutal.

While it’s obvious we have never experienced what David did, we all know the heights and depths of our own lives. We know the pitfalls and the joys. You probably even know people who brag about going from joy to joy and never having any valleys. Well, don’t believe a word of it. David knew the depths, and so do we.

It’s great to know that even when we’re in those valleys, we have a Savior who can lift us out, and a Holy Spirit who can wash over us to restore us.

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Question and Answer Time

5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5

David asks the rhetorical question, and gives us the solution. Despite his circumstances, David knew how to make it all work out in the end. He still had to go through questioning and doubt and a bit of depression, but he came out on the other end fairly well.

The takeaway for today’s is knowing how to bounce back after you’ve fallen down. A small act of worship can go a long way in feeding our souls with the Goodness of God. We shouldn’t underestimate the power that that Holy Spirit can have over our lives if we would submit to Him.

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What I Remember

4 These things I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
    under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
    among the festive throng. Psalm 42:4

When people are asked to recall their earliest childhood memory, it’s interesting their responses. Some parents don’t even remember the details that the kids remember, but for some reason that event had been resting there for dozens of years.

David is recalling some of those memories and rejoicing that he had the privilege of participating. Now that he no longer could do it, he’s longing for it. He didn’t realize how much he missed it until it was taken away.

The question for us then is would we have enough memories of great worship to sustain us if we were ever to lose the privilege? Think about what ONE thing you can do this week to improve those times of worship. We all could improve because we cannot worship Him enough.

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A Lament

3 My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?” Psalm 42:3

David seemed to be in a desperate place when he wrote this. The first two verses are the beginnings of his lament. He’s also in emotional pain because of those mocking him. You can hear the anguish in what he wrote. He seems to be doing everything right, and still God is elusive.

We’ve been there at different points in our life. We’ve wept and poured out our hearts to an often silent God. But in the end, through the turmoil and muck, we came through it by God’s grace.

Feeling like God has abandoned you is probably a normal feeling. It’s the questioning and the tears and the utter desperation that seems to summon the Lord. Our questioning reveals more about us than any answer He could give. He knows our breaking point and He knows when to intervene.

Today, as you continue memorizing this passage, thank Him for knowing us better than we know ourselves. Then pray for someone you know is experiencing this right now.

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