Psalm 54 Reflection

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“For he has delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.” – Psalm 54:7

Sitting in the desert, there is a clear sky above.  A circle, elevated, maybe built up a few inches from the sand, rocks, and shrubs, is laid with stone, constructed in the desert, built by the work of Father, Spirit, and Son.  The desert is flat and far from civilization, with sand, dirt, rocks, and shrubs for as far as the eye can see.  One stone bench, set in a circle, is on the perimeter of the circular foundation, with a grey stone pillar, a couple feet in diameter, built in the center, a few feet high, with a fire burning atop, so that the fire burns at the same level as the bench.  Embers glow hot at the base of the small fire, so hot they would sear and scorch the top of the stone pillar if they were not from God – the burning fire that doesn’t burn.  Smoke rises, drifting towards me, as the dry desert kindling is set up in the shape of a teepee above these hot, burning, foundational embers, sending smoke rising through the gaps in the teepee of desert sticks. 

Sitting, waiting for Jesus.  Knowing that his Spirit is here.  Learning how to sit in the Spirit’s presence.

Jesus, deliver me.
Jesus, bring my heart your deliverance.
Jesus, let me sit in your presence.
In the desert, let me breathe in the smoke of your Spirit.
Let me breathe deeply your cleansing Spirit.
The Spirit that comes forth from the very fire of who you are.
Jesus, put the glowing, burning embers –
the inner foundations of your holy fire – on my heart.
Let it burn my sins away.
Let it burn through the hardness of my heart.
Put the ember on my tongue,
the burning coal you gave to your prophet Isaiah,
and let it sear through the pride and arrogance of my actions and words.
Let the coal make my heart humble.
Jesus, bring healing to my life,
the healing of your holiness,
your holy, burning coal upon me.
Deliver me.
Only your love brings lasting deliverance.
Give my heart the reality of your love.
Make your love more than just knowledge.
Make your love a reality for my heart.
A bright, fire-ful, burning stone that is placed on my physical heart,
piercing it with your powerful love,
melting through the shell of my calloused heart,
penetrating to the core of my soul,
the deepest, most hidden part of my very soul.
Pick up the bow you hung in the sky, once again.
Take your arrow and make it a weapon of your convicting love.
Put the tip in your Spirit’s river of molten fire.
Aim it towards me in my fearfulness.
And shoot it straight through my heart.
I ask you, Jesus, to make your love that kind of reality,
imprinting itself upon my soul, eternally, irreversibly.
Deliver me from my troubles.
Let me live in the triumph of your love.

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Psalm 42 Reflection

 

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“Why so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” – Psalm 42:11

As I pray, I focus on and imagine simply sitting in God’s presence and waiting on Jesus.  Prayer is not one-sided.  We must focus more on listening to God in prayer, and not so much speaking at God.  When we listen, then we can speak to and with Jesus.

As I pray, the Spirit leads me to the desert: a palette mixed with red, brown, tan, and grey, dotted with rocks, shrubs, and brush among the sand and dirt.  I go from sitting on a bench on the perimeter of a small stone circle built in the desert, with a fire of dried, windswept kindling resting on a grey stone pillar at the circle’s center, smoke rising, and burning embers at the fire’s base, to the setting of God’s garden.  The life-giving tree of God is at its center, with vibrant shades of green and bright colors filling this palette.  Breathing deeply, the air is cool, clear, and cleansing.  God’s stream of cool, clear, cleansing, and life-giving water flows next to the meadow, overshadowed by the far-reaching shade of God’s tree of life.

The deer drinking from the stream,
the roaring waterfall below;
it’s the river of your life, Jesus.
Wash me in your water.
Let the flood of your waterfall come over me.
Let me stand in its water.
It is your life, Jesus, flowing through the land,
giving nourishment to your land and all your creatures,
winding through your plains, mountains, forests, and valleys,
flowing peacefully next to your tree of life,
teeming with life,
vibrant and abundant in every branch and leaf.
I rest against its trunk,
my back against its bark,
my hands in the soft grass,
sitting under your shade,
the sky blue above,
the air cool around me.
Give me peace in your life, Jesus.
Give me rest.
Why should I be downcast,
even when life has its pains and sorrows,
and the world so full of sin,
when I can rest in your land,
wash in your waters,
drink from your streams,
and sit under your tree?
As the deer pants for streams of water,
my soul longs for you, O God.
The deer pants,
but finds rest, refreshment, and safety
as it drinks from your streams,
and so my soul that longs for you
also finds refuge in you, Jesus.


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