Monday Morning Meditation: All Day Long (Psalm 25 Series)

We’re continuing the Psalm 25 series, my psalm for the year, with the 3rd installment.

Verses 4-5:

Show me your ways, O Lord,
Teach me your paths;
Guide me in your truth and teach me
For you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

I memorized these verses several weeks ago and have found myself endlessly repeating them. Sometimes, I simply say, “All day long, Lord, all day long.”

I shared in my initial post that this psalm has sustained me through many challenging events. In September, we found out the cancer was now in the liver, that my father may only live 3-6 months, 6-12 if the chemo worked. We set a date to move, no matter what, whether the condo sold or not. That date was still 2 months away. I was struggling with hope.

I read Psalm 25 as I walked to the train the day after finding out the cancer had spread. It became my routine, as I grasped on to every word of that psalm as a deer pants for streams of water.

I still do.

We have since moved. My father lived less than 2 months, and in addition to career changes and location upheaval, I wrestle daily with what life should look like at age 37 with my father not here for me to call on the phone with questions, but present with the Lord. I’ve wondered if what I feel is grief, or am I slipping back into the depression that dominated my life for over 2 decades.

The questions that have come in this time have not been easy. Answers are coming slowly, through prayer, through clinging, through resting, through trusting.

Show me Your ways, O Lord….

Not mine, God. Yours.

Teach me Your paths
Guide me in Your truth and teach me

Let Your truth shine forth into my darkness, into the questions. Let truth be what I cling to.

For You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all. day. long.

You are Lord. I am not. Therefore, my hope is in You and You alone.

Morning coming slowly in our new town

Joy comes in the morning, friends.

And in the mourning, too.

It is coming slowly. Like drips of living water.

I’m catching glimmers of hope and allowing God to teach me.

My hope is in Him, all day long.

Monday Morning Meditation: Dealing with Shame (Psalm 25 Series)

Several long weeks ago, I began a series on Psalm 25, my psalm for the year. We looked at just the first verse and a half (1-2a):

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
in you I trust, O my God.

Today we’ll look at the next verse and a half (2b-3):

Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.

To assist me with my seminary graduate work, I recently purchased a Bible software package. Having just completed my first Old Testament exegesis project (do you have any questions about Nehemiah? I may just have answers!), my favorite part was having the software read the Hebrew to me.*

But I digress 🙂 Let’s put ourselves in the psalmist’s shoes for a minute (in this case, King David).

Have you ever felt ashamed?

Shame is a common human emotion. It began with Adam and Eve, after their eyes were opened to good and evil. Prior to that, they felt no shame (Genesis 2:25).

Can you even imagine what that felt like?

Shame is partially taught and partially inborn. There is such a thing as “healthy shame.” If we sin, and we think, “That was not a good choice,” or “I did something wrong,” that is healthy shame. If we sin, and think, “I am bad to my core,” or “I am a mistake,” that is not healthy shame.

Distinguishing between the two is a challenge. In fact, when I typed “dealing with shame” into, 467 resources came up.

How did David deal with his shame and fear of it?

He chose to take it to God and put his hope there.

Hope is a choice. It can be a difficult and even counter-cultural choice in a world that relies so much on what we see and feel and touch. Hope is “an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” according to Hebrews 6:19. But the Tyndale Commentary on this section of Hebrews rightly states that it requires tenacity, a tight hold on God and His Word, to retain that hope; it will not simply come to us or happen by chance.

What is our solution to shame today? Either healthy or unhealthy shame?  Hope in the Lord. Find your worth there. Allow your identity to be defined by the cross and not by the reactions of others.

Choose to put your hope in God first.

*I don’t know a single thing about Hebrew, but even I can learn and discover interesting aspects of the text through simply hearing a robotic voice read it to me. In fact, during this exercise, I spent way too much time playing with that feature.

I’ll just give you an example of the structure of verse 3. The word that is translated “put to shame” is in the middle of the Hebrew and is repeated. So the structure of the sentence looks something like this:
These people = no shame; shame = these people.

Repetition is a commonly used literary device in the original languages, but some of that can be lost in translation. The English here actually does a fairly good job of capturing that.