I’ve been participating in a blogging challenge the past couple of weeks. And by participating, I mean I have been reading the prompts as they’ve arrived in my mailbox and not acting on them. Well, that’s not entirely true…I was challenged to write an August version of a Christmas letter a few days ago but I could not wrap my brain around Christmas when it was a gajillion degrees. I decided on a back to school essay. It’s fine.
There was another challenge to write a poem. I have not been able to get the idea of me writing a poem out of my head. I am not usually a poet, but more of a drop all my words on the page kind of writer. I was intrigued though so I kept rolling it around. I wrote one a few nights ago about the moon. I was outside, waiting on the dog to do his business and I was frustrated. I was frustrated by the heat, by the dog, by life in general. I actually liked what came out but it felt so personal, so vulnerable that I wasn’t able to post it for the world. Maybe one day. I’m in a season of holding things close to the heart, which is strange for me as I generally vomit every word and thought that enters my head. I’m the one who speaks publicly and is often just as surprised as the crowd at what comes out. But lately there has been a call, a need, for stillness and forethought.
So when I friend sent me this passage this morning, seemingly out of the blue, I cried. At the foot of the chapter from Psalm 37 the note read,”This psalm is an acrostic poem, the stanzas of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.”
God was speaking to me, yet again, through ancient words. The cry of David fit my life and all the things I’m holding close right now, all the while written in beautiful poetic form.
So if you are a fan of poetry, or of evil-doers perishing as flowers in the field…this is a great read.
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.
12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous have
than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.
18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,
and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish:
Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,
they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be destroyed.
23 The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
25 I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.[b]
27 Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed[c];
the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever.
30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
their feet do not slip.
32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
34 Hope in the Lord
and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found.
39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.