I have a confession to make. For years I avoided reading the Psalms in my personal devotion time. I think that somewhere in my prideful heart I assumed that the Psalms were for people who couldn’t handle the rest of the Bible. In my mind they had become a kind of, “Bible Lite.”
This attitude was full of pride, obviously, and since I’m confessing this to you, you’ve probably guessed that at some point I must have had a change of heart – and you’d be right. It wasn’t many years ago that I reached the end of myself. Have you been there? The uttermost, absolute end of yourself?
While I stood there at the end–the end of me, the end of me knowing where my life was heading, what my purpose was, what to do and not to do, say and not to say, it was there, in that place of utter desperation and brokenness that I discovered The Psalms.
Oh where had they been all my life? How could I have possibly disdained them? Why did I never devour them before? What a prideful fool I had been.
So there at the end I opened the Psalms and I read.
I read one after another and each spoke volumes to my shattered heart. When my prayers had dried and my pain was too deep to find the words to speak I read the Psalms aloud to God, my Savior. The Psalms themselves became my very own words spoken from my heart and through my tears. They were my cries for help. They were my cries of pain. They were my cries of confession. And at last, they were my cries of Hope.
“Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.” – Psalm 103:1-6 (NIV)
It saddens me that I had to reach the end of myself to discover the beauty and significance of the Psalms. I love the entire Word of God and every verse is precious to me, but no matter what else I read each day in the Word, I always first open to the Psalms.
If you have not yet discovered the joy of reading the Psalms or if your heart is hard, or broken or maybe you’ve run out of words to cry out to God, there is hope. It’s not too late. I encourage you to take the Bible in your hands, open up to Psalm one and start reading.
Read day after day until you reach the last one, and when the final verse of Psalm 150 is read, flip back and begin again.
Copyright © Rebecca Onkar, Moms of Faith®, All Rights Reserved
Wonderful post. I don’t think your experience is strange. It usually takes some breaking to bring us to the place where we recognize our desperate dependence on God. I remember when the Psalms began to come alive for me. I was in my mid-to-late-30s….
Rebecca Onkar says
Thanks, Morgan. I agree wholeheartedly. I wish it weren’t so, though. :(