One of the aspects of the Psalms that I like is their rawness. It’s as if someone laid open their soul and just let the words spill out on the page. We see anguish, pain, bitterness, fear, confusion, depression, sadness, anger, despair, rejection, weakness, and more. We also see the other side of emotions: love, hope, trust, encouragement, peace, and protection. Studying the Psalms was one of my favorite parts of seminary. I think this is because I’m a pretty level guy who has to work to get in touch with deep emotions. There have been times in my life when I have been overwhelmed and had to cry out to God. These moments are usually sad moments, such as when Cora got a concussion at nine months, our dog’s died, and my dad’s death. There have also been moments of pure joy like the day I married my wife-for-life, the first time we heard our girls’ heartbeats, their birth, graduating seminary, Cora’s baptism, and times when God’s amazing grace overcomes me out of the blue. My only response to the flood of emotions is prayer, crying for help, or shouting thanksgiving to God. Even though God knows my thoughts, actions, words, and emotions, there is something healing about the freedom to express them to God in prayer and then listening for His counsel and comfort. Take a moment and let God in. He’s already there!
Psalm 17:1: “O LORD, hear my plea for justice. Listen to my cry for help. Pay attention to my prayer, for it comes from honest lips.”