Day 26 – Psalm 42:8

“By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8 ESV

“It is always possible to be thankful for what is given rather than to complain about what is not given. One or the other becomes a habit of life.” Elizabeth Elliot

I remember that day well. I was standing in my kitchen preparing supper when the phone rang. It had been a full day of intense ministry. We were in the middle of a potential church split and I was a broken leader. Here the pressure was on, would I fail as a leader, or the women who would follow me if this all fell apart? Was I a failure already because this thing was not getting better, but worse? All of these pressures were resting heavy on my heart when I picked up that phone that evening. On the other end was a voice screaming profanities to me and reaffirming my already unhealthy thought process. “Your are a horrible Pastor.” “You did not…..” And many other cruel remarks.
There I stood with the phone about a foot and a half from my ear and every word was going in and piercing my heart deeper and deeper. What had I gotten myself into? All I had wanted to do was help people and here I was failing them over and over again. The worst part was that the very things I was being accused of were not even the truth, but how do you defend yourself in a one way conversation where someone is convinced you are at fault? You can’t. You simply must let them speak and trust your heart to the Lord.
When the conversation was over, I went and sat on my rocking chair, almost numb from the events of the past several months, and of the past ten minutes. The tears began to fall and in that moment I will never forget what the Lord said to me.
He did not say, “Daughter, you have this all right and they are wrong.” He did not say, “ That was awful what they did to you.” No, He simply said to me, “Sing me a song.”
As crazy as that sounds, that was what He wanted from me in a deep moment of pain.
You see, I could in that moment feel very justified to respond carnally, and to do what everyone might call the natural thing to do, but I am not called to do what everyone else is doing.You and I are called to a higher road. Sometimes that road doesn’t make sense, but the fruit of choosing that road will indeed change your life.
So, with tears streaming down my face that day in my brokenness I offered God a song. It was a song in the night, my night. A song that I could sing because like this psalmist, I knew His steadfast and loyal love that had been commanded by day in my life. This was a time of testing my heart to see if I could lean upon God’s faithfulness when my heart was screaming for defense. The psalmist knew misunderstanding, pain, and the echoing voice of his enemies. I knew them too that day, but I learned something that I have never forgotten, the song offered in the night is a reflection of mercies received in the day. My offering of this song at His request was evidence that I was His and that song became my deliverance.
All of my reasons to need justification were gone as my broken life was receiving Holy Spirit therapy and releasing forgiveness through my night song. A moment of enemy assault had become a sacrifice on the altar of God. My heart became fixed and gratitude rose from the ashes.

Today I am thankful that my circumstances do not have to be ideal for gratitude to prevail. I am grateful that God’s loyal love is commanded to my life in the seasons of blessing in order that gratitude can be released even in the darkest moments of pain. Maybe these moments of gratitude become a fragrant offering to the One who is worthy. He takes our broken lives and creates beauty. How awesome is that. My heart gives thanks for that season for without it I may never know the value of my song.


  1. Reply
    Pat McRae says:

    So do you like rollicoasters? I do not! The slow upward climb just gives me more time to think about what is next!! That plunge that removes my stomach and leaves it somewhere while we finish the ride! I have family members that think they are the best ride going and will go to parks that offer the best of the best in rollicoasters. For me it is the worst place, even to watch is hard because I am sure my stomach is doing the ride without me.
    Today I see David on such a ride. One moment up in the face of God and the next plunging down unable to grasp the presence of the God he loves so much.
    I to have taken that mental ride. Been to church and entered into the holy of holies only to come home to a family crisis. The wonderful peace and joy shattered. Why? Why me God? Couldn’t I stay up there with You a little longer before I had to know this? Oh Ya focus on Christ, but then the next e-mail comes, and this time the curve is sharp throwing me off balance and then the plunge again. Wow now a smooth spot to catch my breath and refocus. Good slowly climbing up again. God is so good to me, I am most;- swoop down I go again. Will this ever end? Then the ride stops. But where have I stopped at the top or in the depths?
    Well that stop is my choice, as much as I would like to complain that it is not. You see the ride is all in my mind. Oh the situation is real enough, but the way I perceive this situation is totally in my control. I can stop in the depths of dispair ringing my hands and declaring ‘oh my what am I going to do? I can’t fix this! But I am mom, sister, grandma I need to fix it! ‘ and so the battle goes on. Full out worry, grumbling and complaining, gossiping and listening to other’s comments. OR I can take it to my Daddy in prayer, listen for the still quiet voice, obey without question the instruction and thank Him for the answer. Even if that answer is not the one I wanted. Then I can stay in that presence where I find strength, peace, joy and love. Yes it is a choice!
    David by verse 8 has done a few heights and plunges but now he remembers that the God he loves, loves him also and even at night while he sleeps God sings songs over him. I believe David knew they were the songs of deliverance. The Message Bible says the last portion like this: ‘My life is God’s prayer.’ Can you imagine realizing at the depths of dispair that God is praying over your life!
    Today I am thankful for each ride I have taken on the mental rollicoaster, because each ride has just proved that God changes situations and circumstances. Sometimes as quick as the ups and downs of the physical rollicoaster and sometimes over many years of building precept upon precept. I am thankful that today I do not have to seek His presence for He lives in me, and promises to be as close as a brother. I just say ‘Jesus’ and He says ‘Yes, here I am’. I am thankful for His love that is so wonderful it is hard to explain, and His songs of deliverance that He sings over me during the night hours. And I am very thankful that the God of the universe hears my cries for help,and that He even says a prayer for me.

  2. Reply
    Susan Craig says:

    Choosing joy when I don’t feel joy is a concept I have heard many times over the years. I read a wonderful book called Happiness is a Choice which states it is possible to choose our moods. Unfortunately it was written by 2 men so that influenced how I perceived their advice-I honestly do not think men truly understand women’s fluctuating emotions. Pat said it well when she called it a roller coaster. Different times in our lives, our moods can be so affected by hormone levels and seem to be so out of our control when those levels are out of wack. As a nurse, and as a woman, I am so aware of how out of control our moods can be at times. God made women this way and I do believe that sometimes we are too much influenced by our emotions and perhaps why He made men different than women in that regard. Not saying that being a woman is an excuse we can use to justify our actions at any time, but just adding I hope, some clarity and biological understanding to this whole issue. I remember a long period of time in my own life when my mother was declining in health and after she passed away, it was a long time for me before I would ever want to sing again-period. I was grieving the loss of my mom before her death and after. I became so depressed that I could barely talk to anyone, let alone sing. But thankfully, that time has passed on and I am so blessed and thankful now to be able to sing and enjoy fellowship with other believers and sing in my heart to the Lord once more. I did alot of praying and writing during those years but there was no singing or spontaneous expressions of joy from my heart. I do not think that God had abandoned me during that time but I honestly do not understand what was happening to me during that period of time. I had no control over that desert experience but now that I can look back on those years, I see how the Lord was with me through it all and I now have my song back and the joy of the Lord welling up in my heart and soul. Maybe being without it for that time makes me appreciate it all the more today. So I want to thank the Lord for sustaining me through those barren years and for restoring the joy to my heart and soul once again. I believe I felt like the Israelies back in Nehemiah’s day that were feeling despair at their ruined city and being in exile for years. Praying that He will provide the grace for me to continue singing His praises for all the rest of my life-not only when I am experiencing the mountain peaks but most especially when I am in the valleys. I look forward to the day when I will see my dear mother again and we will sing together praises to our Lord and Redeemer!! Thank you Lord for restoring my joy!!!

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