Psalms Wrap Up

by Becky Burt

But I trust in You, Lord; I say “You are my God. My times are in Your hands.” Psalm 31:14-15

If you know me, you know I love music and my favorite books of the Bible are the Psalms. They are the song of my heart on this journey. As far back as I can remember, no matter what Bible study I had been digging into during the year, the Psalms were always my go to for the summer – like a beautiful oasis for my soul. I have two Bibles that are literally falling apart, but in them are notes, memories and markers, especially in the Psalms, where the Lord has met me on my journey and spoken into the whispers of my heart to him for my husband, my children, my grandchildren and so many so dear to me. However, in 2019, I parked in the Psalms and stayed there the entire year because I so needed His love, His refuge, His shelter, His sweet words to my grieving heart. 

Praise to the Lord, for He showed me the wonders of His love when I was in a city under siege. In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from Your sight!” Yet You heard my cry for mercy when I called for Your help. Ps 31:21-22

2019 ushered in a new year and a new place that I was bravely trying to embrace but my heart was full of fear and grief and I didn’t know how to move forward. You see, my ship had wrecked and I found myself sitting in the ashes. Life as I loved and knew it changed forever when my precious husband and best friend, Steve was taken to heaven. I let him go and told him I would be okay but I wasn’t. I was floundering, trying to make sense of what my family and I had been through.  I didn’t want to be in this place…it wasn’t part of my plans and dreams for my life. Lord, how do I navigate in this new place. I’m lost. I need You. I need to get to a place where I can sing again in the shelter of Your wings. 

I lift my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Ps 121:1-2

The Psalm we studied this week, Psalm 121, is one of the Psalms of Ascent, a compilation of 15 Psalms the Children of Israel sang on their journey, worshipping along the way. As it was for them, so it is for us, we don’t know what the path holds, but His Word speaks truth, life and comfort into the deepest places of our souls. Their goal was getting safely to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple and our goal is to journey safely to the place He has prepared for us. At some point, I noted in my Bible names for the Psalms as they stepped toward Jerusalem – 120 Psalm of Deliverance, 121 Psalm of Trust, 122 Psalm of Gladness, 123 Psalm of Restoration, to name a few. As you can see, God gave songs for their journey for the ups and downs of the path. You may recall when we looked at Psalm 1, the Gateway Psalm, we were told the Lord knows the way of the righteous. We are intimately known by Him and our ways are not hidden from His eyes. Now we see in Psalm 121 how He carefully watches over His own and how He keeps us. He, my Keeper, watches over every step I take and every turn in my journey, even those He knows will take me into deep dark waters. 

As I navigated this new place, God gave me a gift. I laid down my other two well-worn Bibles and picked up another to look freshly at His Word. It wasn’t just any Bible, but the one my husband had recently bought for himself and was so thrilled over. In it, I found treasures – the notes he had written in the Psalms as he cried out to God in his struggle and received comfort. 

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Ps 34:18. 
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood. Ps 29:10

God was in control over the flood that had invaded my life and wrecked my ship and His Word would raise a new song in my life – a song of praise to Him.  As we take the steps on our journey, singing as we go, sometimes the song is a lament and sometimes the song is full of praise, but it’s always about Him, the Keeper of our hearts. 

You dwell in the songs that we are singing, rising to the heavens, rising to Your heart. Our praises filling up the spaces in between our frailty and everything You are. You are the Keeper of my heart. Oh speak now for my soul is listening, say that You have saved me, whisper in the dark. Because I know that You are more than my salvation, without You I am helpless, tell me who You are. You are the Keeper of my heart. Still my heart, hold me close. Let me hear Your still small voice. Let it grow, let it rise, into a shout, into a cry.
– Audrey Assad

“Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” (Augustine, Confessions (Book 1)

He is raising a beautiful song out of these ashes – a new song – a song of praise to the One who had redeemed and restored me. 

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His Word I put my hope. Ps 130:6

Becky B