As far as Psalms go, this one is not too long. At 40 verses, though, it took me several minutes to read.
I’ll insert the Psalm here; before writing about it further:
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.
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;
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.
37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
a future awaits those who seek peace.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed;
there will be no future for the wicked.
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. (Psalm 37 NIV)
I’d been encouraged to read Psalm 37, by a few different people, over several days. However, it took me a few more days to build up the courage to read the truth that I was expecting to find. Pain and comfort filled my heart in equal measure.
This Psalm said everything I feared it would say. Sometimes healing comes through pain. In my case it usually involves some level of emotional pain.
Healing is something that I long for, but also fear. I know that sounds crazy, doesn’t it? It’s the same with love, and other positive blessings. I fear them as much as I deeply long for them. This conflict within me probably goes back for as long as I can remember, so it comes as no surprise that my recovery from mental health disorders has been long and difficult, but one that I’m still living. My recovery isn’t finished yet, but I am getting so much better.
David is one of my Bible heroes. He gets me, or perhaps I get him! But, despite all that was ‘wrong’ with David, he was the apple of God’s eye. He was also the ‘best’ king of Israel. He had a number of jobs in his lifetime. He’s remembered most for his role as shepherd and king. He’s also remembered for killing a giant, slaying bears and lions, killing men, and sleeping with another man’s wife! Pain, suffering, and anxiety filled David’s life, but he turned his angst into songs and poems. I express myself through art, photography and writing. I struggle to see myself as the apple of God’s eye, but I am a daughter of Abba, heir with King Jesus. I have been accepted, by grace, into the Kingdom of God, and I have committed to develop, as a disciple, and child of God, a life of freedom and hope through writing, art and photography. I think I had lost sight of that a little – but this Psalm has helped me see it again more clearly. As a result of that, I’ve made a renewed commitment to God, and intend to follow His lead in my life.