At the start of this year, I read all of the Psalms from Christmas to March. I stumbled, bumbled, and stuttered through Psalms, not truly paying attention to what was written. Parts stuck out to me, but I didn't walk away epically changed. Last week, I committed to reading through Psalms by reading eleven psalms a day until I finished the book.
Today is the seventh day of my reading, and tonight I will finished reading through chapter 77. Psalms feels different to read now. It feels alive, as if the words leaped off the page and into my heart and mind. I love to underline special or important or revolutionary verses in my Bible, and I have underlined dozens and dozens of verses in the first 66 chapters. When I sit and just read and meditate and underline, I feel God's presence. No matter what my day or morning has been like, I can sit down, open my Bible, and forget it all. I remember why I live for God. I remember why I choose purity, righteousness, integrity, and holiness. I remember why I shouldn't be jealous of non-Christians who get their own ways and get rich and are popular and cool and get the girl: "People who have wealth but lack understanding are like the beasts that perish." When I read Psalms, I am faithfully reminded why I choose to save my soul and lose my place in this world.
I particularly love the psalms written by King David. His passion, his righteousness, his utmost desire to be in God's presence humble me. His core values and life's dreams were intimacy with God, righteousness, holiness, integrity, worship, and justice. These qualities shaped him into the man he was. His life was based on being close to God and worshipping Him, having integrity and righteousness and holiness, and making sure the bad guys got what they deserved. It thrills me to read writings of Davis such as "Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High" or "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Just six days in, I am beginning to be epically changed just by reading and paying attention to the writings and wisdom of Psalms.