“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:1-8
Looking east in the cool dry air, I see that God his rouged the sky along the mountain tops. And as the rays from the yet risen sun pierce upward in all their splendor, streaks of blue gray rain stripe the pink. ￼Ah, my heart exults at the distant storm and the dimension it adds to a new day! My soul thirsts and I come to drink, O my God!
When we arise and sense rain, we might be tempted to bow under the looming weight of another day of uncertainty, unfulfilled hopes, unfinished duties, unappreciated efforts. We allow the heavy clouds to dampen our spirits and outlook, rather than turn upward to behold the rays piercing through to heaven, the beauty of the colors a storm displays in God’s sky of possibilities. Oh, that we would rejoice in the beauties of His handiwork! What a difference it makes in how we set forth!
The thirsty soul finds its slake in Him, faint flesh its sustenance. Our lack is God’s vessel to fill, our need His opportunity to meet, our heaviness His to lift, our weariness His to refresh, and our despair His to alleviate. Dissatisfaction in our place drives us to His sanctuary, where we can gaze on His power and glory, and our restless hearts find haven under His wings. When we practice praising, our words penetrate the gloom to reach the heavenlies, and our souls learn to sing. (Psalm 81:10; Ephesians 1:3; Philippians 4:19)
What situations tempt me to wallow in doldrums, see duty as drudgery? What triggers complaining and gloom? Usually these come from a focus on self and circumstances, and a good dose of time in God’s presence, actively delighting with mind and senses in His steadfast love and goodness, can transform our perspective and enliven our vigor.
“Awake, my soul, and with the sun
thy daily stage of duty run;
shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
to pay thy morning sacrifice.
Lord, I my vows to Thee renew.
Disperse my sins as morning dew;
guard my first springs of thought and will;
and with Thyself my spirit fill.
Direct, control, suggest, this day,
all I design or do or say,
that all my pow’rs, with all their might,
in Thy sole glory may unite.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise Him all creatures here below;
praise Him above, ye heav’enly host;
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” ~Thomas Ken (1685)