Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;
to you our vows will be fulfilled.
You who answer prayer,
to you all people will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins,
you forgave our transgressions.
Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
of your holy temple.
You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,
God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas,
who formed the mountains by your power,
having armed yourself with strength,
who stilled the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of the nations.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy.
Wondering and Watching:
As I read this psalm this morning, I was stopped cold by the word “overwhelmed.” It sprang out at me like the Boogey man from behind a darkened bedroom door.
How often, lately, has my heart spoken that word as I muddle through my ever growing list of mandated To Do’s, clawing in desperation for one more Living Breath.
How often have I wrestled this Ogre of the Overwhelmed that wants to take me down into his murky waters, and suffocate me in his trenches.
… How often have I let myself feel the slime of defeat.
And yet here the psalmist writes:
When we were overwhelmed in sins, you forgave us our transgressions.
Overwhelmed in sin – sin masked as responsibility and duty and all those Hear-Me-Roar Have-to’s.
– sin dressed deceitfully in the clothes of the worry and doubt.
– sin disguised in the fear that Life’s hardships are mine to carry … somehow too big (or worse, too small) for Him
… for Him! God! The Almighty One who saves! The God who saves me from me. Who rescues me from the muck of what doesn’t matter. Who forgives me for my anxious worry and chooses me, chooses you, chooses anyone who will respond to his plea to simply draw near.
But that’s not even the best part, because in all the amazingness of forgiveness, He stills the roaring seas of what was once overwhelming
and calls forth songs of joy!
Our God, our Savior, our Father, our Friend calls out to Joy and says,
“Come, now, sing your songs for us.”
Jesus, You answer. You save. You are Hope who forms with power and stills the seas of turmoil.
You care. You enrich to provide. You drench to soften. You crown to overflow.
The whole earth is touched by Your great love and groans for Your return; Even Nature shouts and sings of Your goodness.
Lord, Right here. Right now. You have turned my Overwhelmed to Overflowing… and I stand humbled again by the great hug of love too good to be true. But it is, and You are. And I. will. shout … for Joy.