When I am writing a post for this blog, I sometimes try to imagine what you are doing when you read it. I try to imagine who you might be. Granted, I know some of you through relationships, etc. Others of you are at least familiar to me through your comments. For the most part, however, I don’t know you. So, I try to guess. Here are some people who I think might be reading this blog right now:
- You are a young college student. You have a test tomorrow and a paper due at the end of the week. You are in the middle of a busy semester.
- You are a young mother. You read this while sipping coffee, wondering what the commotion is in the next room. (Probably the 2-year-old!)
- You are a business person. You are at work reading this trying to get your day started.
- You are single. At times you really don’t feel like you are following Jesus very well. Yet, you hang in there!
- You are a teacher. You work in an academic environment. The pay isn’t good, and you have other frustrations. Yet, you believe in what you are doing.
- You are a minister in some particular role and work in a church setting. The church may be rural or urban. The church may be a church plant or an older, established church. There is so much about ministry that you love. Yet it can also be incredibly stressful and discouraging.
- You are a little older. In fact, you imagine many of these readers being quite younger than you. Yet, you want to stay fresh and alive no matter how old you are.
Maybe you identify with some of the people above. I do think it is important to occasionally imagine who might be reading this. I try to remember this when I am speaking publicly. Maybe I am teaching a class, preaching, or giving a talk from the Bible. I want to remember that I am talking to real live people. It is important that I connect with the people to whom I am speaking (or at least attempt to connect).
Let me suggest to you that the Psalms really do connect with life. I am reading three or four Psalms each morning. Often, I will linger over one Psalm or even a line in a Psalm. Think of lingering over a Psalm as you might linger over a cup of coffee and dessert after a fine meal. This is not something you want to quickly glance at. Rather, take your time and linger. Hear these words from Psalm 46:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their fear.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.