“Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”
We came in the door just before midnight following a long and stimulating visit with some local friends. There had been several opportunities to share spiritual truth. The wife of one friend showed a real interest, asked a lot of questions and listened carefully to a full presentation of the gospel.
In spite of this wonderfully encouraging time, my heart was as heavy as my eyelids, and I longed to just drop into bed and forget ‘til the morning the things that weighed on my heart. However, the Lord reminded me of the importance of “lifting my soul” to Him, getting out my troubled thoughts and “processing” them. So I sat down with my journal and began to write about the email I’d gotten that day.
“Lord, after getting that negative email from Charlie I am angry, disappointed, discouraged and hurt – I feel sorry for myself! I feel like reacting in a similar way, writing back and fully, exquisitely expressing my anger—but that is not your way, Lord. I know the key is to not give into a negative response flowing out of self-pity and a sense of failure, but to praise you, Lord, for the unseen good you are working in this situation both in Charlie and in me, and to press on in truth.
Thank you, Lord, for reminding me of Psalm 50:23, ‘He who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me and opens the way that I may show him the salvation of the Lord.’ Thank you for helping me to ever lift up your name, to praise you and move on.”
There was a release of the burden as I thanked God for the situation and praised Him for what He was doing. It was fulfillment of David’s prayer, “Rejoice the soul of your servant, O Lord, for to you I lift up my soul” (Ps. 86:4, NKJV). That night I slept wonderfully and deeply, waking refreshed in spite of the late night.
During my quiet time the next morning, new thoughts came to mind of what to share with Charlie and a positive letter poured out of my head and into an email–it was truly a letter from the Lord. Charlie responded by asking forgiveness for his incorrect interaction, and later another email came expressing further remorse at his angry words.
The Lord worked; I am deeply thankful that He got me to listen, and to write out my thoughts in the evening, not the morning, so that He could give me both a good night’s sleep and His positive perspective.
The key was lifting my soul to God by writing out my thoughts and then comparing them to Scripture–to just express them verbally does not bring for me the insight that comes with writing. It brings clarity on what is actually happening so the Lord can give perspective and direction. It is truly good to “pour out our hearts to Him, for God is our refuge” (Ps. 62:8).
Prayer: “Lord, praise you that you call us to lift our souls to you. Help me to be consistent in honestly telling you what I am thinking, feeling, wanting, and to process these in the light of your Word. Restore my soul so that you may rule me wholly. Amen.”