What’s growing in my garden?

Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading the book of Job as part of my devotional reading. Maybe it’s the cumulative effect of my life experiences. Maybe it my current awkward growing pains as I’m trying to learn my new job. Or maybe it’s because I’m firmly planted smack-dab in the middle of mid-life and my newly-emptied nest.

No matter what the reason, the melancholy cry of Psalm 39 has captured some of emotion of my soul:

I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.”
But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased.
My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:
“Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Selah
Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
Save me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of fools.
I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for you are the one who has done this.
Remove your scourge from me; I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
You rebuke and discipline men for their sin; you consume their wealth like a moth—each man is but a breath.
Selah
“Hear my prayer, O LORD, listen to my cry for help; be not deaf to my weeping. For I dwell with you as an alien, a stranger, as all my fathers were.
Look away from me, that I may rejoice again before I depart and am no more.”

Though this Psalm will probably never be on the Top Hits list, along with Psalm 23, 91 and 139, it captures the longing for God in the midst of discipline and soul-despair.

Lest you infer I’m depressed, let me tell you nothing could be further from the truth. I am more aware than ever of my own limits, the fierceness of the opinions of others, and the truth of my finiteness of my life on earth. It is an anthem of sorts to pray David’s prayer today: Lord, my hope is in You. As I do, I learn what David knew, even in the midst of his excruciating circumstances – Hope grows in the soil of a stripped-down life.
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About Michelle Van Loon
  • Tammy D.

    I hear you! I, too, have just begun a new job, and right now it’s a bit overwhelming, especially since the on-the-job training seems to involve throwing me into the swirling waters and seeing if I sink or swim (Isn’t that how they determined which were witches in days gone by?) I crave routine, and right now, there isn’t any. But, yes, hope grows….

  • Michelle Van Loon

    I think the people where I work use the same training manual!

    I am doggie-paddling in a tidal wave. It sounds like you are, too!


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