A Psalm for You From Far Away

brown field near tree during daytime

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet with a group of leaders on Zoom and I was asked to share a Scripture passage to open our time. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve written a few posts that are connected under the theme of navigating sorrow during the most wonderful time of the year. Maybe that’s what drew me to Psalm 34. So, I shared the Psalm with them along with a poem I felt pairs nicely. And I thought I would share it with you as well. And I’ve added a prayer for good measure.

A Psalm: Psalm 34

I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

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.

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.
The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
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.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

A Poem: Envoy
By: Francis Thompson

Go, songs, for ended is our brief, sweet play;
Go, children of swift joy and tardy sorrow:
And some are sung, and that was yesterday,
And some unsung, and that may be to-morrow.

Go forth; and if it be o’er stony way,
Old joy can lend what newer grief must borrow:
And it was sweet, and that was yesterday,
And sweet is sweet, though purchas-ed with sorrow.

Go, songs, and come not back from your far way:
And if men ask you why ye smile and sorrow,
Tell them ye grieve, for your hearts know To-day,
Tell them ye smile, for your eyes know To-morrow. 

A Prayer

Dear Father,

In our pain, please help us feel your presence, knowing we’re never truly alone;
In our grief, please surprise us with moments of joy so sadness isn’t the only voice we hear;
In our doubts, please help our minds to know your love;
In our frailty, please protect our hearts from being undone by fear;
And in all our days, until that day, please remind us, there is so much more;
Because you are the giver of life, the author and completer of our salvation.