Cool, damp air compelled me to wrap up in a fuzzy throw for my morning ritual on the front porch. If I were a birder, I would be able to identify and name the dozens of songs in my ear. Since I am not, I chose to enjoy them as a symphony orchestra.
When I read this morning's Psalms, I felt a bit distracted. Psalm 97 and 99 were part of the morning's reading. I scurried through them, then rather petulantly told the Lord that those particular psalms by David were alright. They were good, speaking of the heavens and the earth and God's glory and justice and all that good stuff. But what I really wanted was something that spoke to me. That let me know God was thinking about me. Right now. On my front porch. In my exhausted state.
I felt a little bit like a brat, being so demanding. But deep down, I sensed God giving me a hug. An understanding one. Not a "Would you please think of someone else besides yourself this morning," one.
I went ahead and read the evening's Psalm since I knew I wouldn't get to it later.
Many times in the past I have asked God to remind me he loves me. I know that sounds rather presumptuous, but I do it anyway. Most every time something comes along, right in my language, that makes me feel loved. But I figured that the God of the Universe is certainly not bound to my childish requests, so I began to read the Psalm almost apathetically.
Then I got to verse 11. "The LORD knows our human thoughts, how like a puff of wind they are."
I laughed. Yep. He's joking with me.
Then v. 14 came along. "For the LORD will not abandon his people, nor will he forsake his own."
No matter how tired or overwhelmed, he will not abandon me in mid-project. I felt like he was sitting down beside me, letting me know he knows it is hard to be a single mom, working on trying to sell the farm, to take care of the kids, to make lots of hard decisions.
Then v. 17 and 18 came along. "If the LORD had not come to my help, I should soon have dwelt in the land of silence. As often as I said, "My foot has slipped," your love, O LORD, upheld me."
I thought about the last year and a half. How well taken care of we have been. I remembered the countless times I cried out in pain and he lifted me up. I thought about the moments of joy and hope and life that have been born out of God's wonderful love for us, and then thought about how my petulant little request was so speedily answered in the reading of this Psalm
THEN, I got to verse 19. "When many cares fill my mind, your consolations cheer my soul." Here's the NIV version: "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." And the Living Bible paraphrase: "When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer."
Right exactly where I am. Today. On my front porch, on my farm, in Virginia. Those verses were all about me. And I did feel renewed hope and cheer. Verse 22 summed it up for me, and I was thankful for David writing it down all those years ago, maybe on his front porch? In his kingdom? In Jerusalem? "But the LORD has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my trust."
Now to work. Coco is waiting for me. I need to go milk so we will have milk for tomorrow's coffee and for the cheesemaking class. Many tasks wait for my attentions, and I feel better getting to them, after such a sweet start to the day.