Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Word in Hard Times

The unfolding of your words gives light;

it imparts understanding to the simple.

-Psalm 119 ESV

A homeschooling friend mentioned to me recently that she is so busy with the demands of school and home that she is finding it hard to spend much time in Bible study and prayer.

This happens to most us of at various points along the way.

Homeschooling can be labor intensive. And it's a job where you live at the office. That makes it complicated. Your day isn't divided between work and personal life. The demands swirl around you all the time. I think that can make it much harder to take care of your own personal needs.

This is a re-post from my former blog on a simple, low-stress way to have a quiet time when it's not easy to do.


There are times in life when we are bowed down under the weight of cares. Our schedules are demanding more of us than we can manage to give, or we are carrying the burdens of personal pain, or we are simply facing too many challenges.

Illness, a move, a new child, a loss, unemployment, relational distress -- things like these can strip our ability to concentrate and focus. During a very trying period in my life, I was listlessly wandering through a bookstore one afternoon when I picked up a book about the spiritual life and came across a suggestion that was a breath of fresh air.

Meditate on a psalm a day. With the exception of Psalm 119, which is very long and should be read in sections, this practice creates a simple and achievable devotional time. Not only is this a soothing change of pace, but it is ideal for those who are burdened. The voices in the Psalms can reassure us because many of them speak from hard places.

Whenever I read the Psalms, I can see that I am not alone. I know God understands. I can read and let the words wash over me. I can meditate for a few minutes on a verse or passage that is meaningful. I can briefly write my reflections, or write nothing at all.

I have returned to this discipline again and again in the hard times of my life, and I have always found comfort and strength in it.


Do you have a favorite Psalm from the Bible?


  1. I love Psalm 16 and so many it is really hard to say. But I agree. I can't tell you how often Psalms can help when I am in that dry season.

  2. My favorite is Psalms 119. I just think there's so much passion in that chapter...the author has such a longing to know God, to seek after His ways. Every time I read it, I want that kind of life, that kind of all or nothing devotion to my King. I love reading it when I'm worried or stressed. It comforts me my heart in a way I can't explain.


  3. HI there! I'm very behind in my blog reading so I am camped out here at my computer catching up on all the posts and this was a pleasure to read. So true, so true! I lurve the suggestion to meditate on a Psalm a day! Thanks so much for sharing that!


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