Deep Devotion

Yesterday I put down some new grass seed, on top of new dirt, with new mulch lightly over the seed. I then picked up our garden hose, turned it on and began to wet down the seed...No one would water their garden from a juice cup. No one would head out on a journey without fuel in their car. No one would dive deeply into a shallow pool.  Yet so often we try to navigate the stresses and strains of daily life with only a shallow pool of resources, riding on a low fuel index.

It's often said that what you give yourself to affects who you become. Our choices reflect your priorities. However, too often it is our best intentions that we end up defending when the circumstances of life, or someone else, or bad luck wear us down or wear us out. Too often we drink from a shallow pool of rest, strength, compassion, patience (forbearance), etc., and are therefore left unable to navigate the unpredictably volatile nature of everyday life.

But what if there was another way? What if we could intentionally begin each day with a full tank, what if we could water the gardens with a hose and dive into the cooling waters of the deep. We long for adventure, beauty and refreshment...and it's possible...

I think that's what the psalmist was learning when the words of Psalm 5 were written.

There's the plea, the priority, the purpose, the provision, the pause and the promise.

v. 1-3 - The Plea -  the psalmist writes  "listen"; "consider my sighing" or "consider my lament"; "hear my cry"; "hear my voice". There is a need to be heard, there is something to share. Too often we try to stuff things deep inside, and then move on to the next thing. Here we are reminded of the importance of daily communicating those thoughts that take the energy and vitality away from us.

v.1-3 - The Priority - The psalmist is also clear on where his voice needs to be directed: "Lord"; "My King and My God"; "Lord". To express our deepest concerns to God, as a first priority rather than a last resort. The temptation is certainly even more prevalent to complain or to post a complaint to all forms of social media in the hopes that someone else will co-miserate with us or validate our weary souls - giving us permission to stay in the funk we've created and maybe to which we've even grown accustomed. But the priority of the psalmist is that his words go first to God. It's the way he starts his day. Before anything else.."in the morning".

v.3 - The Purpose - "I lay my requests to you". I love this idea as it speaks to the intentionality of sharing with our King the lament, cry and requests of our heart. There is a vulnerable exposure to the unfolding of these requests, opening them up to the wisdom, scrutiny and sovereignty of God.

v.3 - The Provision - "and wait expectantly". The idea that God is always at work and working through our circumstances to accomplish his glorious purposes provides a turning in the countenance of the psalmist. Where he began in lament, he turns to go about his day is anticipation for how God will work, through whom God will work and how our life will be refined by His grace in the process!

Chuck Swindoll said "After David placed a specific order each morning, he anticipated answers. He expected God to "fill his order" and look forward to that throughout the day. When our outlook is dim in the morning, when discouragement worms its way in, a good remedy is to focus our attention upward. And what a difference it makes in our day!" (Living Beyond the Daily Grind, p.21)

v.4 -11 - The Pause - And then there's the pause. Taking time to first consider the holiness of God; the people around him and himself. Over and back the psalmist allows these things to roll through his mind in humble recognition that is only through gracious justice of God that we can enjoy the benefits of His presence.

v.12 - The Promise - confidence comes out of relationship not knowledge. There is an abundant grace-filled assurance that God gives to us, no matter our circumstances, as though He is present with us and protecting us even through difficult times when we feel our strength is low.

There is a deep pool of grace into which our spirit must meet with His - a place where we are fuelled for adventure, where we are filled to give life to others and where a much needed place of refreshment is found in which to immerse our souls.