To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. … Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. … Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord! — Psalm 25
I am beginning week two of a new eating program. It’s really tough. No processed sugars. Very few calories. And none of my goto comfort foods. But really this is a perfect time to do such a change for, you see, Lent is a time for a soul lift. Psalm 25 begins with a declaration of trust in God before going on to name several issues with which we can identify.
“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. … in you I trust” (vv. 1–2). The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh, which represents the whole self, not just the soul. My body and soul have both been troubled for many days. So it’s time for surrender. As we journey through Lent, it is good to affirm the foundation of our faith, to praise our God who guides us along life’s paths that are not always straight and well groomed. And let’s be honest, nothing about the past year has been straight and well groomed.
Psalm 25 is an acrostic poem with the first letter in most lines beginning with succeeding letters of the Hebrew alphabet. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet and 22 verses to this psalm. The use of the acrostic helps the psalmist paint a broad landscape with pathways that are detoured and overgrown with shame, malicious acts, a troubled heart, entrapment, loneliness, and affliction. Within these paths is written an instructional “ABC’s” of God’s teachings, forgiveness, and salvation. For every trouble or obstacle, there is an affirmation of God’s grace!
It is much too easy to be focused on the difficulties we face. But God’s endless grace can carry us through each situation, emotion, or misstep.
So, lift up your soul! Give thanks and praise for God’s steadfast love and trustworthiness. He beckons you to leave your burdens in His hands.