28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 6

(This is a challenge between student and teacher. Rules of the challenge are found in the posting entitled: “A Challenge Has Been Presented Using the Book of Psalms”)

Today’s Verse: “Offer to God thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High.” Psalms 50:14 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Promises Kept!

I have made a lot of promises throughout my lifetime. Some I have kept and others, sadly, I have broken. Various other people in my life have made promises to me. Some of those promises were kept and some were broken. No one likes broken promises. They mess with your mind. But God. . . !

God makes a promise to His children, and He keeps it! He keeps all of His promises, all the time! God never breaks a single promise made – NEVER!! Wish I was like that.

This morning I was reading Psalm 91. I would like to say that it is my all time favorite psalm, but then there are so many of those. But it is definitely among my favorites, that’s for sure. Why? Because those verses hold all of God’s protective promises. There are some very precious promises there. I greatly encourage you to take the time, sometime today, and read through it. But for just now, let me share this part:

God says this to His child, “Because he (or she) has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him. and show him My salvation.” (Psalms 91:14-16

Did you notice all of the “I will. . . ‘s in that portion of Scripture? Those are God’s precious promises to His children! Care to read them again? They are for YOU, if you are His child. I read through those verses, and I realize that my God has kept every one of those promises for this, His child! Not one has been broken! Not one will ever be broken! For our great and holy God is incapable of breaking promises. And for that I am truly thankful.

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 5

(This is a challenge between student and teacher. Rules of the challenge are found in the posting entitled: “A Challenge Has Been Presented Using the Book of Psalms”)

Today’s Verse: “I will give thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people.” Psalms 35:18 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Many Friends in Many Places

I was thinking this morning how amazing it would be to gather together all of my friends that I have had over the six decades of my life. Gather them from all the different places in the world – Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Norway, Belgium, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, India, Africa, China, Taiwan, Japan, Honduras, Mexico and all throughout the United States. Oh, if I could just gather them all together. It would be a LOT of people. I am blessed with an abundance of friends! I can just see, in my mind’s eye, all their precious faces! What an amazing reunion!!

And then, if we could all raise our voices in praise to our God! Can you imagine the sound? It’s already giving me goosebumps! Let’s sing some of my favorite hymns: like, “How Great Thou Art” or “Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone” or “It Is Well With My Soul” or “Like A River Glorious” or “My Jesus, I Love Thee” and then finish with “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” Ahhh, I can just hear it! All the people, all the voices, all the languages coming together! What sound! What praise!

That is how I envision today’s offering of thanksgiving!

That is how I envision Heaven!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 4

(This is a challenge between student and teacher. Rules of the challenge are found in the posting entitled: “A Challenge Has Been Presented Using the Book of Psalms”)

Today’s Verse: “To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent, O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” Psalms 30:12 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Every Opportunity God Gives Me to Share About Jesus!

I love telling others about Jesus Christ! Who He is, what He does, what He means to me, and what is doing in Heaven right now. I love sharing that and so much more with people who need to know Jesus. Whether it is in a simple conversation, teaching a children’s Bible class, teaching a women’s Bible study group, writing curriculum, posting on my blog, or writing a Bible verse on a greeting card – I just love to share Jesus with others! When it comes to sharing about Jesus, I cannot and I will not be silent!

So, today I have to tell you that I am thankful for every opportunity that God gives me to do what I love to do! I take those opportunities very serious. I actually look for them every day. And when I realize that I have a God-given opportunity right in front of me, I offer up a word of thanks to God for giving it to me AND I pray for wisdom and guidance in saying the right thing. In doing that, I am learning that God always steps in to give me just what I need in that moment.

For me, the most exciting opportunity has been taking place over the last five years. God gave me an opportunity to share that started out small, but grew into something that is totally amazing for me. Here’s the progression: (1) God gave me the opportunity to teach Chinese elementary children the story of His Son, Jesus. Their interest and desire to learn, their questions, their responses to the lessons about the life and times of Jesus inspired me! (2) I was challenged, by one of those students, to think about putting my teaching into writing to share with others. (3) I began the task of writing a bible study on the Life of Christ, using the Gospel of Mark. I had such a blast reading various commentaries, studying the Scripture, researching the questions, and writing the manuscript into an incredible bible study. (4) I began to teach that Bible study to two different groups of ladies. It took us quite awhile, but we finished the study, having learned so very much about Jesus that we didn’t know before! (5) The ladies challenged me to publish that curriculum. “You just gotta share this teaching with others!” (6) April 2019, Christian Faith Publishing, officially published that manuscript into my first book. “The Servant Among Us” began to hit the market in June. To learn more about the book, go to the top of my home page, on the menu running across the top under our logo, look for the tab “book release”, click on that and read more about the book.

God has given me lots of opportunities, in a variety of formats, to share with others about His Son, Jesus Christ. But this opportunity – well, it was truly life changing for me. I never thought I would be a published author, never! I never thought that God could use something that I wrote in a powerful way, but He is! All I want is for the God that I love so dearly, to be honored and glorified in my telling of His Son’s story. I want for Him to use it however He chooses, put it into the hands of whomever He chooses, and that someone’s heart and life will be touched by my telling of this precious story. Today, I just say “Thank you God, for giving me such an amazing opportunity. May YOU, O Lord my God, be glorified in my telling of Your Son’s story!!”

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 3

(This is a challenge between student and teacher. Rules of the challenge are found in the posting entitled: “A Challenge Has Been Presented Using the Book of Psalms”)

Today’s Verse: “Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His Holy name.” Psalms 30:4 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: My Family!

For Grandparents, Parents, Siblings, Uncles and Aunts, Cousins, and the Dog! I am thankful for you all. Each one of you have had a part in making me the person I am today! Each one of you have left an imprint on my heart! And I am truly thankful for that!!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 2

(This is a challenge between student and teacher. Rules of the challenge are found in the posting entitled: “A Challenge Has Been Presented Using the Book of Psalms”)

Today’s Verse: “That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and tell of all Your wondrous works.” Psalms 26:7

I Give Thanks For: My beloved husband, Andrew!

Married now 29 years to my English Sweetheart!

Who knew when I went to Britain as a missionary teacher that I would meet my “Mr. Right” – who knew? I wasn’t looking for him, but there he was. Within a very short time, I knew, without a doubt, that Andy was God’s special gift to me!

People ask me all the time: What was the one thing that drew you to Andy? Oh, you mean, besides his love for God, his good looks, his British accent, his big, bright eyes, his quirky smile, and his loving kindness. One doesn’t have to know Andy very long before you learn of his big heart and helpful spirit. This guy sees needs before they are ever spoken and he immediately gets to work in helping to meet that need. I love that characteristic about him. He’s made many a friend through his kind acts of helping others.

October 20, 1990, as we first walked down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs., I said to him, “Come on Mr. O’Brien, together with God, we can do this!” And that became our marriage motto. We have said that to one another so many times – in sickness and in health, in riches and in poverty times, in the good and in the bad, and in the joyful and in the difficult. We’ve been there together! We’ve done life together, with God as our helper, our guide, and our source of wisdom. It’s been a fantastic journey with Andy! I am so thankful for this man! He truly is God’s gift to me! And it is my prayer that God gives us many, many more years to keep on loving each other and grow old together. Thank you God for sharing this special man with me! Thank you Andy for making it so easy to love you!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 1

(This is a challenge between student and teacher. Rules of the challenge are found in the posting entitled: “A Challenge Has Been Presented Using the Book of Psalms”)

Today’s Verse: “Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your name.” Psalms 18:49 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: My Relationship with a Holy God!

It makes perfect sense on this first day of our “28 Days of Thanksgiving Through the Book of Psalms” to share that the number one thing that I give thanks for is my relationship with my God. And why not, He is after all my Creator; the One who knows me better than anyone else. He lovingly placed me in a family where I could learn more about Him. Together, we not only learned about God, but we loved God, worshiped God, and served God. So God has been a very key figure in my life and thus it seems like I’ve always known God.

I am thankful that God not only knows me, but He loves me. Just the way I am. Faults and all. God loves me unconditionally and eternally! God is always there for me, through thick and thin, good and bad, ugly and beautiful times of life. He promises to never leave nor forsake me – and I’m mighty glad that over many years, He has never once failed in that promise! I cherish the fact that I can talk with God anytime I want to and anywhere I am. He’s always got His eye upon me. His ear is forever tuned to listen to my cries and hear my prayers. His almighty right hand is always ready to hold onto me or pick me up when I fall. God is my strength, my rock, my shelter, my refuge; God is everything I need! I’m so thankful that I am still learning about Him; thankful that I desire to learn so much more. I am so thankful for the relationship I share with my God. It’s personal, it’s powerful, it’s profound and it’s peaceful. One thing is for certain: I could never, ever do this thing called life without knowing God!

A Challenge Has Been Presented Using the Book of Psalms!

Get ready to think CHALLENGE my blog readers! Because, it is on!!

As a teacher, I am always challenging my students with challenging questions to answer, challenging thoughts to ponder, and challenging activities that help them learn more. I tell them that “Challenges are excellent brain food!” And so they are! It’s good to be challenged no matter what age the student is. Get ready, the challenge is coming!!

I particularly love it, when one of my students challenges me, as a teacher, to think outside the box. Or when they ask me a question that I don’t know and together we research the answer. Or when they ask me to participate in a challenge, whereby we both can learn together and have a little fun while we do that. And right now, I have such a challenge before me. I warned you, a challenge was coming!

An 11 year old student of mine, attends a Christian school here in Tucson, Arizona. He has a project that he has to do in preparation for our upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. For those of you who are reading this outside the United States, this might not make sense to you (and that’s okay!) But I think you will still be able to follow this challenging activity and learn by it along with the rest of us. Anyway, this student presented the challenge to me. And me, being me, simply couldn’t resist it. It actually sounds quite fun.

He is calling the challenge – “28 days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms” – I’m liking this already. The challenge is to start on November 1st and runs through November 28th, the day we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Here are his rules for the challenge:

  • Choose only one version of the Bible to use for this challenge. I have chosen to use the New King James Version of the Bible. My student will also be using NKJV. Already we both have learned that there are exactly 28 verses within the Book of Psalms that are appropriate to use for this challenge. How cool is that?
  • Every day (November 1-28) you need to share with other people your answers to this challenge. You may share them in whatever format you choose. I have chosen to share my challenge on my blog-site because I am already writing posts about my journey and thoughts through the Book of Psalms. My student will be sharing the challenge with his school teacher and classmates each day during their “Class Devotional Time.”
  • Every day you must share a Bible verse from the Book of Psalms that includes the word thank, thanks, or thanksgiving. You can’t use a verse from any other book, only Psalms.
  • Every day you must share something that you are thankful for. It can be something serious or something fun. Just make sure you are truly thankful for it.
  • Every day you must write a paragraph or two about either (1) the verse and why its important to you, or (2) what you are thankful for, telling why you are thankful for that particular thing.
  • You must share this every day for 28 days. I want to see if you can be thankful for 28 straight days. Then, according to statistics, after 28 days, giving thanks should become a habit in your life.
  • You must share it with others. By sharing it with others, perhaps they too might want to join us in taking the challenge.
  • “Those are my rules Ms. Kathy. There really is no winner in this challenge. There really are no right or wrong answers to this challenge. I just want to see what you will come up with and what I will come up with. I also want to see if anyone else, on the platform we share it with, will respond to our challenge in any way. Wouldn’t it be great Ms. Kathy if through this challenge, you and I together could teach people to be a little more thankful themselves. I hope that will happen.” Well said kiddo and I hope that this challenge will produce those results as well.

And so, my blog readers, I have gladly accepted this challenge! I am excited about it and I am ready to begin! Who’s ready to read my blog for the next 28 days??

Might I suggest that you click on my “follow” button, or sign up to receive notification by email whenever that days posting has been made. And please, feel free to leave comments along the way. It would be nice to know that people are actually reading my blog. I know for certain one student will be checking in every day. Will you join us for our challenge?

The Waiting Room of Delays – Psalm 13

How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?” Psalm 13:1-2 (NKJV)

There I was again! In the waiting room of delay!

My husband was having a procedure done at our local hospital. I was waiting patiently, in the waiting room for that procedure to be done and then I would be able to take him home to rest for the remainder of the day. Yet, the waiting seemed awful long to me. They said the procedure would be about 35-40 minutes, but as I glanced at the clock I realized that I had already waited for over 2 hours.

“Excuse me,” I said calmly to the volunteer at the desk, wearing my most “I’m trying to wait patiently, but…” expression upon my face. “Could you tell me how much longer my husband will be in his procedure?” She asked for his name, then she glanced at the computer, and said, “Excuse me just a moment.” And she left.

“How long, O Lord?” was the phrase that popped into my mind. Obviously it led me deep into thought (or maybe I was getting an idea for my blog page!) because the volunteer startled me, when she tapped me on the shoulder and said. “Deary, they haven’t even started your husband’s procedure yet. There’s been a few delays. But it won’t be long.” Hmm, don’t you just love the waiting room of delays?

I have been there, done that so many times that I certainly lost count years ago. Nonetheless, in all honesty, the waiting hasn’t gotten any easier. Especially when there appears to be long delays. I sat back down, nestling into the “comfy” chair and my mind just soars as I begin to think of various times of waiting throughout my life. Within just a few moments, so many different times of waiting with delays, like an unrelenting tsunami, came storming through my mind. I felt a little overwhelmed. Yep, been there, done that one!

“How long, O Lord?” have I waited for You to hear and answer my prayers. There’s been several that I’ve been praying for for a mighty long time it seems. How long do we have to struggle financially and live paycheck to paycheck? How long do I have to wait for my prescription to be approved by the insurance company? How long before I get the results of my medical tests? How long before my friend sees her husband come to know Jesus? How long before there’s a cure from cancer that has taken away so many friends lately? How long before our pastor’s wayward son returns home? How long does this family feud have to last? How long before my husband gets a pay raise or better yet, that promotion that he has been working toward? How long, O Lord? How long should I continue in prayer over these things and so much more?

Can anyone else relate? Have YOU been in the waiting room of delays lately? Does it seem that you pray and pray and yet it seems that God is not hearing? Not listening? Not answering? How long, O Lord?

Take heart my friend! You are not alone in that waiting room of delays. The Psalmist David knew it well. Within the first two verses of Psalm 13, David asks the same question four times: “How Long, O Lord?”

David often cried out to the Lord, to share his concerns, to ask for advice, to seek godly wisdom, or to simply talk with His God. He would ask God to “attend to my cry” (17:1). “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry. Do not be silent at my tears.” (39:12). “Give ear to my prayer O God, and do not hide Yourself from my supplication. Attend to me, and hear me. I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily.” (54:1-2). “From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed.” (61:2). “I am weary with my crying; my throat is dry; my eyes fall while I wait for my God.” (69:3).

Just like David, I have so often lifted my voice up to God in prayer. I know that He hears me. I know He listens to His child as I cry out to Him. I know that in His time He will answer me. Yet sometimes, it seems that I am praying the same prayer over and over again. For days, for weeks, for months and yes, sometimes for years. And it leaves me wondering, “How long O Lord?” How long should I keep praying for the same thing?

I have taught elementary aged children how to pray many times in my career as a missionary teacher. I love to watch as they eagerly want to learn to talk with God. I’ve listened to many a “first time” prayer. Together we learn that He will answer our prayers – usually one of three ways – yes, no or wait. Children love the “Yes!” answers to their prayers. “No!” is a little harder for them to accept, especially when its something they really, really want. But “Wait!” Well, that’s totally different.

I never will forget the day, (its documented in my teaching journal!) when one of my students had to voice his opinion on this waiting for answers to prayer idea. He raised his hand, waited patiently for me to acknowledge him, then with this ever so serious look on his face, he said, “Ms. Kathy, I have to pray to God right now and have a talk with Him about His waiting to answer my prayers. Can I do that now?”

Well, before I could even get a response out, he was praying. I led the rest of the class in bowing our heads and listening to his prayer. I must admit that his boldness stunned me. “God, you and I have to have a talk about this waiting thing You want to do. Please do NOT ever ask me to wait for an answer to my prayer. I do NOT wait well. In fact I do not like waiting at all. So please do not ask me to wait. God, did you hear my prayer to You just now? Were You listening to me God? Let me say it again. No waiting for me God. I do not like to wait. Amen!”

The silence in the classroom was deafening! As the teacher, I wasn’t even sure what I should say after that. But I do know that, after a few moments of silence, the class resumed its learning. But hey, before we judge that little boy for his prayer, perhaps there is something we should all consider. Aren’t we just like him? No one likes to wait for answers to their prayers. No one likes to spend time in the waiting room of delays, wondering if God heard our prayers and will ever answer them. Hey, at least, he put the thought into words and delivered them to His God, who by the way, was no doubt listening. God might have even smiled at the innocent honesty of His precious child.

I never forgot that child. Nor did I forget the lesson I learned from him. None of us like to wait! Especially me. The Psalmist David found it hard to wait as well. But “Wait!” is one of God’s good answers to His children. Sometimes He wants us to patiently wait in the waiting room of delays so that He can teach us the value of waiting patiently.

So while we are there, what do we do during that waiting time. The Psalmist David shares with us, in the remaining verses of chapter 13, four things we can (and should!) do while we wait for our prayers to be answered.

Consider and hear me, O Lord, my God; enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest my enemy say ‘I have prevailed against him.’; lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.” (13:3-6)

First of all, we pray! We keep on praying! We pray fervently! We pray boldly! We pray faithfully! And we don’t stop until….GOD! It is in the shadow of those prayers that God is at work. We pray and we may wonder if God heard. He heard you! We pray and sometimes we wonder if God is even listening. He is listening! We pray for days, weeks, months and years and we wonder if we should continue. He wants you to persist faithfully, fervently, and boldly in those prayers. In the waiting room of delays, your God hears, He listens, and He is working on that answer. We pray until…. God…. in His time provides His divine answer! And in that moment we will know, the answer was well worth the wait!

Secondly, David encourages us to trust God while we wait in the waiting room of delays. Trust God’s plans and purposes for you and for the ones you are praying for. Trust His mercy and grace that He will show you in His time. Trust that His answer – whether yes, no or wait – will be perfect, for He is perfect and makes no mistakes in what He gives to His children!

Thirdly, David encourages us to rejoice. Yep, in the midst of that waiting room of delays, learn to rejoice! David says, “My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.” That’s a great place to start. While you wait, think of all the things that God has done in the past, think of the various answers to prayers He has given you in the past. Think of what God is currently doing in your life now and in the lives of those you pray for. As you think of those things, surely your heart will see good in the things Your God does. And in response, surely you can lift up your eyes to focus on the God who has put you in the waiting room of delays. And as you wait, surely you can learn to rejoice in what God is doing, even if you can’t see it at this moment! Waiting gives opportunity for rejoicing!

And last, David encourages us to “sing to the Lord.” Sing? Yes, sing! Be it quietly in your head and heart, or out loud with a ton of gusto and sound, sing your praises to God. My favorite song to sing in those times happens to be, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness!” In that waiting room of delays, you know that an answer is coming. You know that answer (whatever it is) is God’s perfect answer for that time. You know that you can trust Him. You know that He gives you reason to rejoice while you wait. You know you can sing forth His praises – even before the answer arrives. Why? “because He has dealt bountifully with me!”

So, my friend, the next time we find ourselves in the waiting room of delays, here’s what we do: We pray! We trust! We rejoice! We sing! Because our God is dealing “bountifully” with us! Hmm, perhaps that’s the reason He sent us to the waiting room of delays in the first place. What a great lesson to learn while we wait!

As The Deer Pants For The Water – Psalm 42:1-2

As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1-2 NKJV)

I have long loved the worship song “As the Deer” that was written with the verses of Psalm 42: 1 as their text.

“As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after thee.

You alone are my heart’s desire, and I long to worship thee.

Chorus:

You alone are my strength and shield; To you alone may my spirit yield.

You alone are my heart’s desire, and I long to worship thee.

You’re my friend and you are my brother, even though you are a king.

I love you more than any other, so much more than anything. “

Chorus.


The writer of these infamous words, Marty Nystrom, relates the following account of the birth of this popular worship song:

In 1984 I was a school teacher in Seattle, and since I had the summer off I decided to go back to Bible College, but only for the summer term. I headed for Dallas, Texas and Christ For the Nations Institute. Little did I know what was about to happen to me, especially with all that I would be exposed to and the worship emphasis of the school. I had a roommate at CFNI who was a very vibrant Christian. He challenged me to go on a fast – a period of time when a person refrains from eating solid food in order to give time to the reading of the Bible and to prayer.

I took up the challenge, and on the 19th day of the fast I found myself sitting at a piano trying to write a song. I was simply playing chord progressions when I noticed a Bible on the music stand of the piano. It was open to Psalm 42. My eyes fell on the first verse of that chapter. After reading the verse I began to sing its message, right off the page. I wrote the first verse and the chorus of a song, pretty much straight through. The whole of the adventure was completed in a matter of minutes. I then repeated the song I had just written. I wanted to seal it in my mind.”

I had no intention of showing the song to anyone. It was to be for my own devotional time with the Lord. However, before leaving the school to go back to Seattle, I did share it with one person, Dave Butterbaugh. He introduced it to the students of the school and it became a favorite.”

The words and the melody that Marty composed resonated with so many people. Since the introduction of the song, it has been translated into several languages and is sung in churches worldwide. It has become one of my personal favorites among worship songs. I find myself singing it often.

And when I sing it – I picture this in my mind:

A thirsty deer in search of some water. A deer that longs for a drink of cool, refreshing water. Recently I had a conversation with a “hunter” friend of mine who told me some things about deer that I didn’t know. Not being a hunter myself (sorry, no interest there!) I did find what he told me very interesting. He said that deer are very fussy about where they drink. A deer will never stop and drink water from any source unless it feels perfectly safe at that water hole. The environment around that deer needs to be a quiet and calm place. It needs to be free from any foreign scents that would disturb the deer. There should be no sounds of a predator and not any sounds and scents of eminent danger to that deer causing it to run far away. Only when the deer feels perfectly safe, will that deer drop its head toward the water source and have a drink. It’s the peace and silence, the welcome of refreshment, that draws the deer near to the water. I never knew that about deer, but it makes perfect sense to me and makes me respect this beautiful animal even more.

I also think about how this relates to our approaching our God. For me, just like the deer, it is the peaceful, quiet calm of God’s person and presence that draws me close to Him. Happily I can draw near to Him anytime I want to. I can draw even closer to Him when I am free of distractions from the world around me or free from the predator (Satan) who seeks to devour me. I can choose to “draw near” and drink from His source of refreshing water as often as my heart desires.

Yet, these first two verses of Psalm 42 leave me with a question to ponder: Does my soul really “panteth” for You, O God? Does my soul thirst for the Lord as it should?

The Psalmist David, stated his thoughts with a bold confidence that I wish I had. He says, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” His desire is really clear. The Psalmist thirsted after God just as the deer pants after the cool refreshing water.

Yes, I believe in God. Yes, I daily read God’s Word and spend time in prayer. Yes, I attend church and serve God in many different ways. But, do I really thirst after God?

Do I seek after those “environments” where I can find true peace and quiet to meet with my God? Do I make sure that there will be no interruptions, distractions, and predators that could snatch away my attention from my God? Once I have gotten to the source of water, do I take a quick lap or do I linger long, drinking in God’s pure refreshment? All questions worth pondering!

Meanwhile, my heart shall enjoy singing once more Marty Nystrom’s infamous worship song – – “As the deer panteth for the water….”

Are YOU singing along with me??

It’s Not Fair! ~ Psalms 57:1-11

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You: And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by. . .” (verse 1 – NKJV)

Have you ever uttered those words? “It’s Not Fair!”

It’s not fair that. . .

. . . I didn’t get that promotion that I worked so hard for!

. . . I’m stuck at home with four screaming kids all day!

. . . my family has so many problems and others don’t seem to have any!

. . . we struggle so hard to make ends meet and live paycheck to paycheck!

. . . we couldn’t go on our dream vacation this year! . . .

What’s your “It’s Not Fair!” moment??

I am confident that every human being on the face of this earth has had (or will have) a particular set of circumstances when those three little words will, without hesitation, roll off their tongue. I know I’ve said it. Often when I was a kid and I didn’t get my own way. Even more so, as a teenager, battling with growing up issues within the family. I’ve even been known to say it a few times as an adult. Bottom line: every one of us think that life is not fair at times! And at times, it’s not!!

When I read this first verse of Psalm 57, I can almost hear David saying, “It’s Not Fair!” David wrote this Psalm at the time he was fleeing for his very life. King Saul was out to kill him. David and his men, quickly fled. They were on the run, trying to outsmart the man who sought to take his very life from him. David was hiding away in a cave, and life for him, in that moment, was not one bit fair. Listen to how David describes his circumstances:

My soul is among lions; I lie among the sons of men who are set on fire, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and the tongue a sharp sword. . . They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed down; They have dug a pit before me; into the midst of it they themselves have fallen.” (verses 4 and 6)

Yep, “It’s Not Fair!”

And what, my friend, do we do when life isn’t being fair to us? There really is no end to the options. Here’s just a few: we instinctively tend to dig our heels in the ground and kick off some sort of “temper tantrum” because we simply aren’t getting what we think we should have, or what we think we deserve. We begin our own little campaign of protest – not that anyone really wants to hear it, nor participate in it. We have this somewhat crazy idea that “going shopping” is the perfect solution to the chaos we are in. Or we can simply choose to shrug our shoulders, accept the unfairness, and walk away.

I have to tell you this: I have learned a very valuable lesson here in Psalm 57 from David on how to handle those “It’s Not Fair!” moments of life. In fact, David inspires me to look differently at those “calamity” filled times when circumstances are unbearable and hard to understand. Walk with me through the rest of this chapter and let’s have a look at what David does.

Verse 1 – David states, “And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge until these calamities have passed by.” I am a very visual learner and pictures help me a lot to process things. So when I read this verse – – this is what I picture:

What a perfect place to be in the midst of the “It’s Not Fair!” moments of life! Safely tucked under the almighty, powerful wings of my loving God, taking shelter, finding rest, renewing strength, and receiving hope UNTIL “these calamities” (these “It’s Not Fair!” moments of life) “have passed by.” I picture that in my mind’s eye and I simply cannot get there fast enough! Forget the temper tantrum. Never mind the protest. Save the money and bypass that shopping trip. I’ll walk away, yes, but straight under those protective wings that are waiting for me.

But that’s not all David did. Let’s read on:

Verses 2-3 tells me that while he was under the shadow of those wings, he cried out to God. David told God all about his current “It’s Not Fair!” moment. God listened. God took action. Here’s what David said, ” I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me. He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.” I just love the truths spoken here. David KNEW that God would receive him into His care and tenderly protect him. David KNEW that God would listen to his complaint – – “It’s Not Fair!” God, that King Saul is seeking me out to kill him. What did I ever do to him?” And David KNEW that God would know exactly what to do. David KNEW God had this. David KNEW all that truth. You and I, in the midst of our own “It’s Not Fair!” moments can know that truth as well. So, why are we spouting off about life not being fair to anyone else but God? I tell you, David inspires me to look at things a little differently! But wait, that’s not all.

Verses 5 and 7-11 tells me that David KNEW God had Him completely covered during his “It’s Not Fair!” moment. God was in perfect control. David could take refuge and not worry. David could let go of all his feelings about the circumstances that were beyond his own control. David could rest assured that he was being protected by a God who dearly loved him. David was confident that His great, almighty, powerful God held this “It’s Not Fair!” moment of David’s tightly in his hand (while David rested under the shadow of His wings) and David KNEW everything would be alright. This “It’s Not Fair!” moment would soon pass by. And so, based on the things that David knew, and from his safe place of refuge, David bursts forth with some worship; He began to praise his great God. “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, Let Your glory be above all the earth. . . My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, and Your truth unto the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth.”

Does that not inspire you, my friend? Whatever “It’s Not Fair!” moment that you are currently going through, may I encourage you to give it to God, for He knows just what to do with it. Life isn’t fair – but your God is! Your soul can trust Him. He will be merciful toward you. Find your place of refuge, set your focus on the One who shadows you under His wings. Rest assured, your God has this! Relax in His presence, under His protection and simply burst forth in praise!