Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Psalms’

Beautiful Listening


My devotional time this morning focused on Psalm 16:8 “I will keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him on my right hand, I will not be shaken.” It was an appropriate scripture for the day after I kept my eyes closed for what was actually only a little more than a half an hour, but in some ways seemed like triple that time. I was squished inside an MRI machine. Have you ever had to go inside one of those tubes and bear the clings and clangs and knocks and noises of whistles and whines? No fun! Some MRI machines come with a musical experience… headphones and your favorite CD or radio station. This one didn’t, so I provided my own! With my eyes closed (who needs to see the inside of a claustrophobic tube?), I kept my eyes on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I was not shaken. I sang my favorite hymns, cowboy songs, old R & B favorites. I hummed and smiled, and the tiny space I occupied didn’t seem confining at all.

Where do you focus your attention when you are in a difficult situation? When you’re in a tight spot, do you pay attention to the walls that are closing in on you, or can you tune in to your inner music and allow what is important in your life to be your focus? Widen the walls of worry and woe. Call on the Lord and be a beautiful listener. Be attentive to God at your right hand, and (as the Psalmist reminds us) you will not be shaken.

Practice that same kind of focused, attentive listening when you are in the company of friends and loved ones, too. Instead of listening to your inner music, and tuning them out, take your clue from the One at your right hand, and tune in fully to the conversation with your companion. That’s what Jesus did. He looked directly into the eyes, into the soul of His companions. He heard with His heart. God does that when we pray to Him. As if you were in an MRI tube, with no visual images to distract you, focus on what is before you. Let your mind center on the moment. Be attentive! Be a beautiful listener.

Beautiful listening is
Empathetic listening. It’s an
Acquired skill – It
Takes practice;  It
Takes caring; it
Especially takes knowing that
Nothing is more important
Than the one speaking
In this moment. Listen
Vividly. Be fully present.
Enjoy the moment.

As Ashley Kappel prayed in this morning’s Daily Guidepost 2013, let us pray also, “Lord, remind me today who is important in my life and allow me to focus wholly on them, if only for a moment.”

Love One Another. Amen?

Facing Trouble


Are you facing TROUBLE in your life? Today’s scripture caught my attention as I was writing daily reflections in my “Love Journal.” The scripture for today in the journal is Psalm 32:7 “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble.”

Is it true? Is God your hiding place? Will God protect you from trouble? In my experience, it is not that trouble doesn’t come my way. It will and it does! Trouble finds us – even in our best hiding places! So what comfort can I take from Psalm 32?

If we live the truth of Psalm 16:9 and we “are always thinking of the Lord,” then the scripture promises, “…because He is near, I never need to stumble or fall.” God will help me overcome trouble. He will help you, too! I truly believe that. Do you?

Psalm 16:10 says “Heart, body and soul are filled with joy.” How can we have joy in the midst of trouble? It helps me to focus on the fact that the Lord is in control. God is the Captain of my ship, the Driver of my vehicle, the Lamp that lights my path. If I remember that, then God will not only lead me through the trouble and help me overcome it, but He will strengthen me by it. He will bring me joy. I truly believe that, too.

“Protection” from trouble is not the absence of trouble, but it is the inability of trouble to take away my joy. With God’s help, I can hold my head high, walk through the hard times, and emerge stronger and more faithful. You can, too. Take JOY, my friend. Take heart; take God’s hand – offered by a loving friend – and walk right through that trouble with His Strength – to the other side. You don’t need to hide. He will protect you. He will show you The Way. God bless you. Walk on!

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