I sit with the Lord bringing Him the condition and reality of my soul. I come tired, lonely, and emotionally “beaten up.” A medical scare has left me fatigued and I am still adjusting to a diagnoses that isn’t life threatening, but will require some life changes. My condition has prevented me from going to the first retreat of the Journey Faculty Training and I feel sad and alone, wishing I were anywhere but home.
A family member has been processing through some hurt and anger, and I am one of the people who has contributed to their pain. Although they are sharing gently, I feel as if my life is under a magnifying glass, revealing every mistake and struggle I’ve gone through. I realize I’m not up to being understanding and encouraging right now. I am not strong enough to create space for the other to be with their hurt. I am fragile.
God listens to me and as we sit in silence together, I ask,
“Jesus, did You ever feel emotionally beaten up?”
His answer is quick in coming.
“Of course, many times.”
“So, what did you do, Lord?” I asked.
“I spent time with My Father and listened to Him exclusively.
I chose to not listen to who the world said I was,
or to the constant questions and doubts the enemy threw my way.
The ONLY VOICE I listened to was the Father’s.
I clung to the TRUTH. It was my lifeline.”
Day in and day out, You were questioned, doubted, ridiculed, and harassed. The spiritual leaders badgered You constantly, questioning Your identity, and even accusing You of being from the devil. And You stood strong. The truth was Your shield—it kept the lies of the enemy from penetrating…
I think of Psalm 91:4, which says,
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.
His truth will be your shield and armor."
So, Lord, Your protection, Your shield, Your strongest defense was the TRUTH. That is where You lived—in truth: truth about Your identity, truth about Your Father’s love for You, truth about Your mission, truth about Your followers….
As I sit with Jesus, pondering His time on earth, how He experienced everything we have, every challenging relationship, painful emotion, hurt, betrayal, and suffering, I see with greater clarity how crucial His relationship to His Father and to the truth was.
I am struck by the significance of the Psalms. In essence, they are not only a glimpse into David’s heart, but in a powerful way, they reveal the relationship Jesus had with the Father. I begin to look at the Psalms with fresh eyes:
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Jesus, is this what You were experiencing in the wilderness?
Or even just on a day to day basis on earth?
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
Is this a snapshot of Your life? How You lived:
trusting, dwelling, feeding on Your Father’s faithfulness?
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
(Psalm 23: 1-4)
I have a new understanding of the Psalms. They are a blueprint of Jesus’ relationship with His Father. They show me where to go in times of pain, disappointment, hurt, or suffering. They reveal how Jesus lived, how He survived, how He triumphed.
I sit with this fresh perspective and it encourages me. It brings strength to my weary soul. The intimacy of this conversation, as I’ve shared where I am, and Jesus hearing, knowing, and understanding, fills me with joy and gratitude. Something has shifted deep inside me. I want to live in truth. Jesus shows me the way.