In response to recent requests from subscribers, the Nugget will be featuring a devotional based on the book of Psalms once a month. We pray you will be blessed by this focus on the one book of the Bible that Jesus quoted the most.
Today's lesson from the Psalms comes from the
"Let all that I am praise the Lord.
Lord my God, how great you are!"
(Ps. 104:1-2a NLT)
I don't like them. The crashing, violent waves can
capsize even the largest ships. The howling wind can blow the roofs off
houses, smash out windows, even lift vehicles and send them crashing
back to the ground. The driving rains flood the grounds--and often my
basement as well! The thick fog is blinding. The pounding hail causes
damage to everything it touches. The heavy snows make the roads and
walkways treacherous...Is it for naught that I prefer the warm summer
I don't like the storms of life very much either. The
crashing, violent waves of circumstances, the howling winds of change,
the driving rains of loss, the pounding hail of life-threatening and
life-changing illness, the heavy snows of trouble, the thick fogs that
prevent us from being able to see the way out...Is it for naught that I
prefer the hill-top experiences? Those rare but glorious trouble-free
As my family and I finally begin to emerge from a
5-year-long set of tumultuous circumstances, I can't keep my feet from
dancing and my mouth from singing forth praise. Sunshine at last!
But my praise is so imperfect and undeserving of the King of Kings,
the One who has finally rescued us from our circumstances. "Lord, I want
to praise Your name," I prayed, "but I don't know how. Give me fitting
words of praise!"
Ps. 104 was immediately impressed upon my mind, and I eagerly leafed
through my Bible to read the first few verses:
"Let all that I am
praise the Lord.
O Lord my God, how great you are!
You are robed with
honor and majesty.
You are dressed in a robe of light." (vs. 1-2a
"Oh God," I breathed. "This is perfect! You are so great!
You are robed with honor and majesty. You are dressed in a robe of light
that illuminates my darkest path. You are..."
But in my prayer I
had reached the end of the verses that I had read, so my eyes again
dropped to the page:
"You stretch out the starry curtain of the
heavens..." (vs. 2b NLT).
Wait. "Starry curtain"
means dark times. And dark times are scary times, times just like the
ones we've been going through. What is the idea of God stretching the
stormy times across the heavens doing in a Psalm of praise?
eyes returned to the page and I read on:
"you lay out the rafters of
your home in the rain clouds.
You make the clouds your chariot;"
(vs 3a NLT).
Uh...So the storms of life are the "rafters"
of God's home? They make up His "chariot"?
Surely this doesn't mean...
I dropped my eyes back to the page. I
was sure the Psalm would turn things around at this point, but it was
not to be:
"...you ride upon the wings of the wind.
The winds are
flames of fire are your servants." (vs. 3b-4 NLT).
That's when Truth began to speak to my heart. It is when the winds
of strife blow that God shows up. He rides upon those winds. In fact,
those winds of trouble are His "messengers", and the heat and
flames of our fiery times are His "servants"!
that God doesn't keep us from troubled times, for He has said, "Here
on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because
I have overcome the world." (John 16:33b NLT).
Ps. 104:3-4, however, suggests that He actually uses our
trouble to move on our behalf!
But this isn't a new Biblical
concept, is it? The Apostle Paul eludes to something similar: "I
will boast only about my weaknesses...to keep me from becoming proud, I
was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and
keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to
take it away. Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power
works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ can work through me. That's why I take
pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions,
and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am
strong." (2 Cor. 12:5, 8-10 NLT).
So in "riding" on
our troubled times, God uses them as His "messengers", His
"servants", for it is in our weakness that God can really shine
As this realization hit home, my mind began to review
the many blessings God had poured out upon us in the past five years,
and I couldn't stop myself from continuing my prayer of praise: "Lord,
You allowed those troubled times because they became Your chariots, Your
messengers and Your servants! We found You IN the storm, and I praise
Your name for the many times when Your strength has been perfected in
our weaknesses. Keep up Your good work in us, Lord!"
are in the midst of at this time, remember:
"You stretch out the
starry curtain of the heavens,
you lay out the rafters of your home in
the rain clouds.
You make the clouds your chariot;
you ride upon the
wings of the wind.
The winds are your messengers;
flames of fire are
your servants." (Ps. 104:2b-4 NLT).
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire "Lessons From the Psalms" mini-series,