Psalm 116
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.

I trusted in the Lord when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted”;
in my alarm I said,
“Everyone is a liar.”

What shall I return to the Lord
for all his goodness to me?

I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.

Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful servants.
Truly I am your servant, Lord;
I serve you just as my mother did;
you have freed me from my chains.

I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord—
in your midst, Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord.

There is a song Whitney Houston sings on the movie, “The Preacher’s Wife,” that I yearn to hear in times of trouble. “I love the Lord,” begins with the lines,

I love the Lord
He heard my cry
And each and every groan
Long as I live,
and troubles rise,
I will hasten to His throne.

I think sometimes music can elevate us to a place we cannot raise ourselves to. I grew up in “hallelujah” churches (Jack calls them “active masses”), and still need to return to a place of worship to find God in the midst of a storm. If you pass me on the road and see me with one hand up, tears streaming down my face while I’m singing my heart out, you can now know it’s probably just a hard day.

I struggle with finding rest for my soul. I struggle to find peace, but I often wonder if it is something to be found. Maybe, instead, we are in pursuit of peace, like we are in pursuit of happiness. Like all of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), we embody peace the longer we walk with God. But I can honestly admit that there are times in life when it’s easier to be loving, joyful, patient, kind, good, faithful and self-controlled than others! Sometimes I feel that all the goodness I possess is so overcome by circumstance that it is all I can do to hang on to the last of it, like hanging onto a balloon’s string in a storm. What if I let go? Still, I will be here with you, He whispers into my heart. I know . . . I whisper back. And I am reminded in that moment that it isn’t me that holds onto my faith or even onto Him; it is always Him holding onto me. I am the balloon; he is the wind and the string and the whole blue sky . . . all around me, all of the time.

So I will hasten to His throne, and like David, I will fulfill my vows in front of His people. I will remember the chains I no longer am shackled by; I will return to my rest, for the Lord has been good to me. He will do me good, not harm, all the days of my life. It is in Him I rest and hide and weep and dance and sing. IN HIM.