It has been a while. Maybe because I don’t have a lot to write. Or maybe because I have too much to write but not enough time? I’m thinking that this little corner of the web should be called, “The Unraveled Life.” The other day, for example, I looked away for about two minutes and my toddler coloured herself green. Not completely green, mind you. But there were big green splotches all over her entire body. She was so proud. And in case you were wondering, washable marker isn’t all that washable. At least she makes a cute alien, I told myself.
While I was scrubbing the toddler, one of my other daughters knocked over a glass of milk (that she had been instructed to finish an hour earlier…but I digress). Milk everywhere. On the floor, on the table and on some of the school stuff. I wrote on Facebook, the way milk multiplies when spilled is nothing short of miraculous. I’m serious. Next time we’re about to run out of milk and I don’t feel like taking two hours to pack up three kids for a five-minute trip to the store, I’m just going to dump the last few drops on the floor. Voila, problem solved. Milk for days.
Truth is, I’ve been a bit tired lately. It usually hits in wintertime, but for some reason, this summer has seemed long. And although it has been filled with many, many beautiful moments, there is always that undercurrent. You know? That feeling that you’re unraveling on the inside?
Sometimes, I’m unsure of how to handle these soul-weary seasons, especially when there’s absolutely no valid reason for it. What do you do when you’re doing all the right things and yet you’re desperately struggling to hold on to your joy? As David said, “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?”
David, a man after God’s own heart, knew what it was like to become unraveled.
But what I love about David is that he didn’t stop there. In his sorrow, he declared, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.”
Please note: David didn’t wait until he had it all together to boldly make that statement. He made it while he was struggling inside. And perhaps that’s the key. Not an empty faith declaration, but a reminder in the middle of it all that God is always faithful and that His love won’t ever fail. He is good. He is really, really good.
“My heart rejoices in your salvation.”
Salvation from sin, most importantly. But also salvation from the tired that creeps in when you least expect it.
David did this thing called “yadah”. Yadah is a Hebrew word for praise. But it’s more than that. It’s offering yourself completely. It’s lifting your arms in surrender. In a sermon I heard recently, the pastor described it as raising your hands and launching your praise like an arrow.
Even when you don’t have it all together.
Because, really, aren’t all of us a little unraveled inside?
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been waking up to worship music. I sometimes fall asleep listening to it. I play it while I’m driving and while I’m making dinner. I play it while I’m sitting alone in my room. Yadah. Praise like an arrow.
Another act of worship—much less conventional—consists of taking photos of the joy-filled moments. When I get tired and my joy unravels, I look through those photos and remind myself that God is good. And my heart is filled with gratitude. Yadah. Praise like an arrow.
Praise is a powerful weapon against sadness and weariness. When your heart is filled with praise, your focus shifts from you to Jesus, and grace seeps into the broken places. Grace becomes the glue that holds you together. It allows you to put one foot in front of the other and keep on going.
It becomes your breath and life because it’s only in Him that we live and breathe.
Yadah. Surrender. Abandonment. Arrows of praise.
And a heart refreshed and restored to joy.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
And here’s one more goody because I’ve been waking up to this song every morning these days and it just gets to me (in the best of ways) every single time…