Sunday, May 1, 2016


A Psalm for the Sickies

I need a little sympathy here.  I got me a sick boy with a fever who calls, "MOM!" until I have to get out of bed to see what he needs.  I have to write this while listening to reruns of all the seasons of Duck Dynasty while he suffers on the couch.  He could probably write a psalm like this himself (or maybe I could)...

"My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud;
My voice rises to God, and He will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
In the night my hand stretched out without weariness;
My soul refused to be comforted.
When I remember God,
then I am disturbed;
When I sigh, then my spirit grows faint.
Thou hast held my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak."
(verses 1-4)
Hey you moms, you know what I mean when the cries and groans get you out of bed to go tend to your sick, feverish chill'uns.  Can you ignore them? Of course not. That's how God feels towards you when you cry out to Him.  He pulls up your eyelids to see if you are still alive, still with Him.  But don't you long for His cool hand upon your forehead?
The Psalmist is thought to be writing during the Captivity, but it can be applied "to the case of any individual in spiritual distress through strong temptation; or from a sense of the Divine displeasure in consequence of backsliding...of deep mental trouble, which forced him to speak his griefs aloud." But he does not confine his grief to himself, but "felt exquisitely for my poor suffering countrymen." (Adam Clarke) 

I felt exquisitely for my poor suffering "country folk" and went across town to their orchard woods to watch "the babies," well the twins who turned five years old, while their mama was sick.  That means they had  pillow fights, then stripped the pillow cases off to have sack races across the living room floor.  That meant watching them  pull the cushions off the couch to make a trampoline in the family room.  Yep.  I'm a good grandma.  They got tired though of my picking up their toys and ordered me to go away and not come back.  Hmm.  Their mama had to get better quick!

"The generous mind is not confined at home:
It spreads itself abroad through all the public,
And feels for every member of the land."

"At first, he felt his misery, and called aloud.  He receives more light, sees and feels his deep wretchedness, and then his words are swallowed up by excessive distress.  His woes are too big for utterance.  Small troubles are loquacious: the great are dumb."
(Adam Clarke)

"I call to remembrance my
song in the night:
I commune with mine own heart;
and my spirit made diligent search.
Is His mercy clean gone for ever?
(KJV, verse 6)
It's the southern way of saying,
"He gone."

The Psalmist's song in the night is more like a dirge played on his harp...
The Old Psalter is translated to say...
"I sweped my gaste, (I swept my soul) that is,
I purged it of all fylth."
"Will the Lord cast off for ever?
and He be favourable no more?
...Doth His promise fail for evermore?
Hath God forgotten to be gracious?
hath He in anger doth His promise fail for evermore?"
(KJV verses 8-9)
"Has He not said, 'Turn, ye backsliders;
for I am married unto you:
I will heal your backsliding,
and love you freely.
...The tender mercies of God are the source
whence all His kindness to the children of men flows."
(Adam Clarke)

"And I said in my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.
I will remember the works of the Lord:
surely I will remember the wonders of old.
I will meditate also of all Thy work,
and talk of Thy doings.
Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary:
who is so great a God as our God!
Thou art the God that doest wonders:
Thou hast declared Thy strength among the people.
Thou hast with Thine arm redeemed Thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph."
(verses 10-15)
"To grieve is my portion:
to change (my condition) belongs to the right hand of the Most High."
Another translation is
"At last I came to this poynte, that I thought:
O why art thou so foolish?
The right hande of the Most Hyest can change all." 

"The flesh tempts to despair,
and calls into question the goodness of God.
Next, he shews the victory of the spirit over the flesh;
being raised, encouraged, and confirmed,
by the nature, promises, and works of God."
(Adam Clarke)

"He takes encouragement from a remembrance of God's ways and of His works...
1. In the Red Sea.  The waters saw thee, (verse 16)
2.  In the Heavens.  The clouds poured out water, (verse 17)
3.  In the Earth.  The earth trembled and shook, (verse 18)
"Thou didst lead Thy people like a flock..." 
(verse 20)
I love me a good storm, a good view of the bigger-than-I-am kind of storm
just to remember how great our God is:

After the thunder and lightning,
After the sucking sound as the water stood up stories high at attention
After the wind blew the river bed dry,
After Moses led his people across on dry land,
After the crashing of the water back down upon the Egyptian army,
Then He leads His people like a flock.
Oh, gentle shepherd,
what a contrast
from the phenomenon of Thy nature!
Like my sickies,
their fever won't last forever;
they will rise up off their beds
and will carry on, maybe even feel good enough
 to have sack races in their pillow cases.

After all,
once upon a time
He brought me through it,
the dark night of the soul, 
the night that was my Red-Sea-impossible-to-cross,
 moment in the night.
Do you know what I mean? 
Been there, done that?
Me too.

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