Psalm 151

I know what you’re thinking: There are only 150 psalms in the Bible.  And you’d be 100% correct. This psalm, however, isn’t in the Bible. It’s in my blog. (and, in all likelihood, linked to Facebook)

The psalms are God’s songbook. The psalms were the songs the ancient Israelites sang during times of joyous celebration, fierce oppression, somber remembrances, and religious festivals. The psalms were borne out of deep emotion, mental anguish, and sometimes even physical exertion. The psalms expressed through the beauty of poetry and music what mere words could not adequately capture. The psalms are honest and painful, raw and unfiltered, the hearts’ desperate cry of joy and sorrow, triumph and loss, victory and pain, peace and confusion. And, after the events of this weekend, I feel compelled to create my own psalm. This psalm. Psalm 151.

God is good, even when things are not.

In the hot days of summer, when time dragged long and emotions ran high, God was good. As we pored over item after item, making lists, making decisions, making hard choices, we also made memories. As we endured the tears of loss, we were rewarded with tears of laughter. When the anxiety and anger ran high, the compassion and strength ran higher. And though the body and mind were often wearied, in time we found both renewed; a perspective of hope, of anticipation, of good things to come.

God is good, even when things are not.

As summer gave way to fall, time gained a new meaning. Now there were schedules and deadlines, obligations and responsibilities. Yet there was always white space in the calendar, just enough hours and days to accomplish our goals. In the midst of the chaos of life, there was quiet and peace and order. As time marched on, so did we, focused and determined, not wishing it to be so but accepting the reality. There was a willingness that existed above the honest and very real struggle. And though there were questions that answers could not satisfy, there was trust and surrender.

God is good, even when things are not.

The support of a brother who sacrificed time and resources to be present during a time of great change, freely giving of himself to allow my family the opportunity to refresh and renew…the support of a brother who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure every “t” was crossed and every “i” was dotted properly…both affirmed and acknowledged the emotional, mental and physical sacrifices of myself and my family, easing our burden and sharing the load in reasonable and manageable ways.

God is good, even when things are not.

The unwavering prayer support of so many friends and family members. The endless hours of “cawfee tawk” therapy, that safe place where emotions can run amok free from judgement, where we can laugh until we cry and cry until we laugh. The texts of devoted praying moms, always encouraging and strengthening, pouring peace like a soothing balm over highly charged situations and conversations. The likes and loves of Facebook updates, simple reminders of those who care, nods of support and affirmation.

God is good, even when things are not.

Simple victories, silly in the grand scheme of things, but fun diversions that make life bearable: cheering on our high-school, college, and professional teams to winning records and playoff runs; sharing in the excitement of marching band and drill team performances; being part of our childrens’ success in academics and extra-curricular activities. The moments we share become the memories – and stories – of tomorrow.

God is good, even when things are not.

A moving crew of angels – genuinely sharing in the emotion of the day. A family beyond anything I deserve – genuinely caring throughout the day. A community of support – genuinely involved in ensuring that the transition is smooth and as comfortable as possible. A fellow resident – genuinely reaching out to make a new friend and welcome her into her new home.

God is good, even when things are not.

As reality sets in – and the excitement of the newness gives way to more questions than answers – there will be difficult days and times ahead. There will be days of uncomfortable adjustments. There will be days of harsh words and harsher emotions. There will be days where resolve will be tested and strength will be challenged. But in those moments, I can be confident and secure, because of the truth:

God is good, even when things are not.

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