I sit here in my office, another Monday behind me.  Kids have eaten and gone to bed; kitchen is clean and my shower has been taken. There are but a mere fifty-three minutes before a new TV show premiers,one I’ve been eager to see.  Glancing at the clock, I retreat into my office, the small desk lamp giving off a cozy glow.  All the scattered thoughts of a crazy day, the beginning of a crazy week, begin to calm.  I reach for my devotional and begin the evening prayers and readings for Monday… “Oh God, come to my assistance; Oh Lord, make haste to help me.”  The familiar phrase soothes my soul.  I quietly whisper the opening prayer and move on to reading the Psalms… “Not to us, Oh Lord, not to us, but to YOUR name be the glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and faithfulness… The Lord will bless us….He will bless those who fear the Lord, both the small and the great…” (from Psalm 115).  The words start to sink in as I read them, slowly again and again…. “I trusted, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted!”….what shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord ; I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people…” (from Psalm 116)…..”…great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever” (from Psalm 117).

Steadfast love. Enduring faithfulness.  Love without end; grace, favor and blessing to both the small and the great, even in times of affliction… on and on the psalms soak into my soul, filling up cracks and crevices I didn’t know where there…smoothing out rough spots of callousness, softening the hard places…. A cool, soothing balm to parts of my heart that are wounded and bleeding, that I didn’t even realize existed….

God’s presence fills this little office, my little desk, which has somehow become an altar. Tears roll down my face, tears that have been un-cried because I didn’t even know they were lurking under the surface. They are not bad tears.  They are not angry tears.  They are not fearful tears.  They are healing tears, slipping out of my eyes as God fills my heart in their place with peace, comfort and that amazing,enduring, unending love, washing everything else away.

I sit here and soak, letting the Psalms and His presence wash over me and seep deep into every fiber of my heart.

There is much to be thankful for, even in the midst of trials.  And there it is… that “peace that is beyond understanding” (Philippians 4:7)…not something I conjure up myself; it is not something we can make… perfect peace is found in His presence…and in knowing He never, ever, ever leaves us.

In the noise and chaos of life, this is easy to forget.

So for now… I will sit here and soak, praying without words, from the depths of my heart.

Thanks be to God.

Amen.

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