Yet in the light of day, the Eternal shows me His love. When night settles in and all is dark, He keeps me company— His soothing song, a prayerful melody to the True God of my life. (Psalm 42:8 VOICE)
It is very beneficial to understand the words preceding a passage cited as they give meaning to the intensity of what the writer is communicating. As some may realize, not all of the psalms were written by David, although he wrote a good many of them. Korah was a worship leader in the Temple and he is attributed authorship of a good many, as well. Today's psalm is by Korah and opens with the thought, "My soul is dry and thirst for you, true God, as a deer thirsts for water." What does a deer do when it is thirsty? Does it merely stand there and hope it rains? Nope. It moves to where it expects to find water! It begins to sniff out the water - motivated by the thirst building within. Now understand the words of the worship leader - our soul is never so dry or thirsty that it won't find what it longs for! That very dryness drives us to the place we know we will find refreshing and renewal!
Within the words of this psalm we find such admissions as, "Right now I am overwhelmed by my sorrow and pain; I can't stop feasting on my tears" and "Why am I so overwrought? Why am I so disturbed? Why can't I just hope in God?" It comes as an encouragement to me to understand that the one who is "leading" worship is also able to be real and come clean with God about the struggles of his heart! There is no better place to "come clean" than in the presence of God - in the midst of all the dryness and yearning to just admit our brokenness and barrenness. I am also encouraged by his words, "Despite all my emotions, I will believe and praise the One who saves me and is my life." Despite all our emotions, we can believe and lift our voice in praise to the one who not only saves us from our disasters, but who has become all we live for. I think this might just be key to what we discover in the psalms time and time again - nothing is more important than making God the center of our lives - so much that he becomes our very life itself!
The world will taunt us with all manner of accusation, troubling thought, and anxiety-producing worries. We can feel pretty overwhelmed, even to the place we begin to wonder if God has left us in the midst of it all - wondering if we have made "too big of a mess of it all" that even he is disgusted with us. I can only respond as our psalmist has - despite all our emotions which try to deceive us about God's continued love or watchful care over our lives, we can trust both! When things are "light" and we seem to be walking in the light, we see him clearly - not discouraged in anyway. In the night hours, times when darkness seems to close in, the story change a little - our emotions dictate a different focus, don't they! In the darkness, God will keep us company - nothing changes his position - he is still there. Just as the deer pants for water, moving ever closer to the source of all refreshing, we must draw closer to him in the midst of our "night" struggles. Despite our emotions, we will praise - we will worship - and we will be honest about where it is we find ourselves today!
Just as the deer finds water as he moves toward it, so we will find what our soul so desperately longs for as we draw closer to the heart of God. Our emotions may tell us we cannot connect with him any longer because our sin is too great this time, but know this - there is nothing which can separate us from the grace of God. Nothing! Just sayin!