Read the original Psalm here.
This is me,
Addressing my thoughts to my God.
Not thinking about You.
Not talking about You.
Not thinking about how I should be talking to You.
Actually talking to You about it.
The barest, most basic essence of prayer,
That sometimes-terrifying step:
You are my God.
I choose You.
In a world of god-options, god-offers, and god-counterfeits,
I am committed.
I don’t feel like it today,
But I have Your ring on my finger, Your seal on my heart.
I don’t know how many other people are going to tell You this today,
But You heard it from me:
You are my God.
I mean it.
Because my spiritual life feels like driving mile after mile after mile
Without seeing a gas station,
Putting my foot to the pedal when the needle is on the ‘E’
And wondering how much longer I can keep going.
Physically–I need You.
Spiritually–I need You.
Emotionally–I need You.
Body, soul and spirit, You are the fuel I was made for.
There’s nothing else I can put in this tank.
And this landscape is scary.
I’ve been to church, back when that was a thing.
I’ve sung to You when a thousand other voices backed me up.
I’ve felt Your presence.
And now all those usual ways of getting close to You are stripped away.
No church. No crowd. No choir.
David felt this way, when he was a fugitive in a physical desert,
And the thing he missed most wasn’t the grocery store,
It was the tabernacle. Being able to get to the place where he worshipped God,
The place he associated with Your presence.
And how many of us have felt it since?
And he made a choice in the desert.
And I will make it, too.
A choice to try.
I will start singing when my voice is feeble, wobbly, and alone.
I will stick my hands up in the air just because You still are who You are
And Your Name still means everything it ever meant.
I will start talking about You, even if I’m talking to myself.
I will start saying all the reasons it’s better to be loved by You
Than to even be alive.
And I will believe that You will meet me in it.
That it doesn’t matter what I try, to turn my attention towards You,
What “spiritual discipline” I reach for in this desert:
You will show up.
And when You do, I will stop talking in the past tense and saying,
“I used to encounter God when I went to church.”
I will start talking in the present tense and saying,
“I can see Jesus sitting across the table from me right now.
We’re having dinner by candlelight.
We’re gazing into each other’s shining eyes.
And I’ve never felt more full
Than I feel right now.”
Because You have promises to keep.
You promised that to encounter Jesus is as easy
As to open the door to a dinner guest
Who’s ringing the doorbell.
You’re already knocking on my heart calling, “Anybody home?”
I just have to open up and let You in
And we will eat together.
And I will sing.
The mouth You feed will sing.
Sometimes I can’t sleep, Lord.
My thoughts look for You when my eyes are closed.
I see feathers stretched over me.
You are as close and attentive as a mother bird.
And I will sing.
Your baby bird will sing.
Is surrounded by Your greater holding-onto-Me,
Is surrounded by Your greater reaching-out-for-Me,
Like a baby with its arms around Mother’s neck
While Mother’s arms are under all of me.
My soul is that baby, clinging to You for dear life.
You are that Mother, carrying all of my weight in just one hand.
This season will end.
The reasons that drove me out into the wilderness will end.
David was driven out of town by would-be-murderers.
He believed You would remove them at last,
And let him go home.
It took a long time.
But he was right; You did it.
You brought him back after You taught him
To sing in the desert and worship without the tabernacle.
You were in it all along.
And in the solitude, he dared to call himself what You called him.
In the moments before it manifested,
In the moments before the promise came true,
In the moments when the promise had never looked more un-true and impossible,
He dared to call himself, ‘The King.’
He dared to hope again,
To plan again,
To dream and decide what he would do
When he became what You had called him from Day One:
And I am planning the same thing he planned:
I’m taking this home with me.
What I learned in the desert,
This is with me for life.
When I finally become ‘the king,’
When the desert ends, and the promise is kept,
I will do what I learned here.
I will do what I am doing right now.
I will rejoice in God.