“ When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Ps 73:21-26
I’m going through a Bible Study by Cynthia Heald called “Becoming A Woman of Simplicity” and thoroughly enjoying it. The study’s premise is keeping the main thing the main thing – a life focused on Jesus. Today’s chapter is on “Unshakeable Simplicity” and in it I looked at Psalm 73 where Asaph bitterly complains about the way the unrighteous prosper. As he looks at their wealth and vitality it just seems patently unfair that those who ignore God should do so well in life while he suffers and struggles in spite of his righteousness. But then he says he ‘entered the sanctuary of God’ and his viewpoint changes completely as demonstrated in verses 21-26.
I couldn’t help but relate this Psalm to my grief experience. There was a season where I could only ‘see’ the loss, only see my grief. I couldn’t focus beyond it, other than to worry about the future, and I was unable to read or think or move forward. For the most part grief didn’t embitter me, although there were times of bitterness, but grief did cloud my mind. Others close to Becky have told me the same thing and for Jacob the brainfog has just begun to lift in the past few months.
As I’ve spoken with others suffering through a grief or loss of some kind, and it isn’t always a grief related to death, I’ve often heard them say the word ‘should’ a lot. I should be praying more … I should be reading the Bible more … I should be with other believers more. Psalm 73:21-26 gives me comfort and describes my experience when I was in the deepest part of my grief. I was senseless and ignorant, I was a brute beast before Him, and yet … yet I was always with Him. He held my right hand … a position of dependence and security for me … a position of paternal love and direction from Him. Regardless of my ability to ‘should’ my way into relationship, He continued the relationship and was there for me. Asaph saw this when he ‘entered the sanctuary’ and I saw it whenever I awoke to worship songs in my head and heard the prayers winging from my inner man even though I couldn’t focus to speak a prayer out loud. I knew it when scripture came unbidden to my mind even though I couldn’t read more than a paragraph at a time. I also knew it as He turned my focus back to Him away from death and away from the questions the future held. There was absolutely nothing I could do to change anything past or future, all I could do was live each day looking to Him and trust Him for that day, for everything before and for everything to come.
There is a phrase in the study guide that captured me today, “Your problem is that you are on overload because of the future – God’s command is to take one day at a time.” I think sometimes I overload by carrying the past. Sometimes I overload by trying to carry the future. Today I choose to live focused on the Lord, in His sanctuary, enjoying the strength of my heart and my portion forever!