My parents gave me a study Bible in 1996 when I was in high school. The binding is missing half of the leather and the edges of the cover are cracked but it still works. Back then and into my college years, I remember sitting down to read a passage studying the commentary and following little foot notes to scripture throughout the Bible. I would flip back and forth following another verse foot note. Underlining and highlighting (gasp!). It has been years since I studied that way (I do mostly book studies and devotionals now) but last night I got caught up in it once again. My Love bought me a new Bible (ESV) for Christmas. It was totally unexpected and so thoughtful. I have started studying again.
At dinner I replayed this song at the table while the kids and I ate. Bundle Boy sang along at the parts he knew and Babydoll lifted her hands. It was emotional for me to witness but I held it together and sang the words out loud to remind myself of the truth.
The bridge (is that the right term?) started and I heard it again.
I lift my eyes up
My help comes from the Lord
Funny that part of the song didn't come to mind when I shared this post. God was saying something and he was repeating it. From there (Still at the table. Don't judge. My Love is out of town.) I tried to look up the actual worship song that I remember singing in high school when our youth group met on the beach of a local lake during the summer to worship and hear the Word. I couldn't find a decent YouTube track that wasn't extremely distracting (ie. ska). Some of the videos were labeled Psalm 121. I opened my Bible and read it. I reread Psalm 145 (a scripture my sister shared with me in a comment). Then the flipping started. More tools for my belt. More repetition. More truth. I couldn't get enough. Did I mention this was not happening at the dinner table but on the toilet in my bath room (while sitting on the closed lid) while my Bundles took a bath together after dinner? Now you know. I scribbled scripture references on a notepad. Water periodically splashed out of the tub and I remembered to parent.
God has been clearly telling me that the words of encouragement I will need when the dark days fall on us will ONLY be scripture. Take note people. This will be your job.
Gathering more tools for my BELT OF TRUTH.
Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
*Oh, LORD, remind me that only You will be able to heal their broken hearts. And ours too. Thank you.
Psalm 144:1-2 "Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; his is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues people under me."
*Oh, LORD, you are my rock and training me for battle. Remind me that you are MY steadfast love, fortress, stronghold, deliverer, shield, refuge and it isn't just up to me to remember all you taught me. You will be fighting with me. Thank you.
Psalm 145:14-19 "The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them."
*Oh, LORD, on those dark days please hold me up. Remind me that even then you will provide, satisfy, be kind, be near, hear my cry and save me. Thank you.
Psalm 91:1 "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shelter of the Almighty."
*Oh, LORD, teach me to dwell in the shelter of your wings so that I may abide. Thank you.
And just for fun, God brought me here. Remember when a friend shared part of this passage awhile back and I knew I would need it again someday? No? Then maybe I didn't share it here. Follow this link to her original post. And then read this. I love it when God repeats himself even months later.
Psalm 126:1-6 "When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion we were like whose who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them," The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb! "Those who sow in tears shall reap in shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him."
Oh, LORD, remind us in times of deep sadness and heartache that you WILL restore us to laughter and joy like as if it were a dream because we can't imagine it ever happening again. Choosing to do the hard thing is worth it. Thank you.
Mmmmm. Nourishing to my soul. Who knew multitasking during bath time could be so fruitful (no pun intended...I think they turned into prunes from soaking so long).