Struggling with Psalm 34

I have never been one who was consistent in my Bible reading. I have always been better at prayer. This is strange, as most have the opposite issue.

I am going through an old reading plan I found while unpacking. It is probably the one thing from an HU chapel I didn’t draw on or turn into a paper airplane. Having this has been a blessing. I haven’t made to much headway on it due to intensive studying for the A+ (WHICH I PASSED!!!!!!!). But some of the passages I have read, such as Psalms such as 91, 11, 59, 31 (as well as the Gospels) have resonated with me deeply.

However, part of today’s reading has been a bit challenging. It is a bit different from the other psalms so far in the reading plan. The Psalm is Psalm 34. It is just a portion of the psalm that bothers me.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. (Psalm 34:4-7 ESV)

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:17-18 ESV)

Yes, I realize this seems like a strange thing to struggle with. Keep in mind that this has been a really rough year for me. The past 2 years have been rougher than I had expected with this year hitting rock bottom. Two of my greatest fears became a reality.

  1. That I cannot make it on my own in my own country.
  2. That I can only fail.

There have been many moments where I have cried out to God, especially this year. There have been many moments where it seemed like my cries have fallen on deaf ears and have been utterly ignored. I have felt very alone, very abandoned this year. I have been left to my troubles and fears, or so it seems.

I have struggled this year. I have struggled a lot. I have struggled a lot with God. Not the idea of God. Not with faith in God, but with the faithfulness of God. This is something I have had a lot of difficulty in seeing.

I have felt unloved.

I have felt lesser.

I have felt overly flawed.

I have felt abandoned by God.

And yet, there are several other Psalms that talk about God being a refuge and a fortress that have had such an impact on me. So why do these passages in Psalms have such an impact and others not sit with me so well? I think it has something to do with the idea that I feel lesser in the eyes of God. That others find more favor, blessing, and love from God. There are times I have felt like a mistake made by God. A lesser creation. I might have expressed similar struggles over on the Kilted Artist concerning my hatred of my own birthday. Quite frankly, that day just brings out all of those feelings.

Anyway, as much as I know such statements are false, they still feel true concerning me. I turn to God because I have no where else to turn. I cry out in hope that He might actually hear me and actually care.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. (Psalm 34:4-7 ESV)

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:17-18 ESV)

I want this to be true. I desperately want this to be true in my life.

I just thought I would share this thought with the world. Its a struggle that I find oddly baffling.

 


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