Were you wondering when this was coming? Or maybe you’d forgotten the Psalm series and Jason’s brilliant illustrations? Or maybe you’re new to these parts and have no idea what I’m talking about, if so- see the Songs Along The Way section of this blog for what I’m wittering on about.
Psalm 119. The joking Psalm, the one where we laugh at how crazy long it is, the one that no-one would ever read all the way through out loud in a service, the one that really won’t fit into a nice pithy blog post. Well I admit it, I’m not even going to try. I’m going to pick my favourite verse from it. How do you like that cop out?
The verse is 73 and it stops me dead whenever I read this epic Psalm.
“You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.”
Partly I love it because it sounds a bit arsey. As in, right God, you made me, you are the one who created me and now I really really need some sense to walk in your ways, I can’t do it on my own, I don’t have innate sense to work out that your ways are best, despite you making me, I need some help. Now. Come on. Give me some help.
The original tone might have been slightly more reverent than this but I think the sense of it is the same. We have been made by someone, we have been created by someone and it makes sense to go to him for help in living in the way he intended for us.
We can’t live this kind of life without God stepping in and helping us. I need him to work in my heart to give me the sanity to follow his commands, without that, even though I’ve been made by him I really don’t want to walk his ways. I naturally go any other way but his, I naturally reject him and forget about him. I need his help.
The fact that the Psalmist prays this encourages me to think that maybe God wants to help us follow his commands, that maybe he knows we are fairly stupid creatures (given that we are most compared to sheep in the Bible) and we need his help. The whole rest of the Psalm is all about crying out to God for help in walking in his ways, following his brilliant course through this life. This verse encourages me that God still wants to hear my cries for help and doesn’t expect me to have everything sorted just because I know that he made me. It encourages me to go to the one who made me to learn how to live, it encourages me that I have been made by someone and life isn’t just random chance.
As a crazy perfectionist lady I really want to know that I can do this life well myself, I want it all to be perfect or I can’t be bothered at all. I don’t like the mess of having to ask for help, I often beat myself up for not finding it straightforward to follow God’s commands in this world. I think I should have things sorted by now. The truth is, I never will. I will always need this verse, I will always need to ask for help. I will never be at a point where I can do this life on my own. Simply because I wasn’t designed to. Neither were you. We were designed and made to live in relation to our Maker.
And so I pray for the sense to follow his commands, to not drift through this life, to not give up on seeking the good ways he has for me to walk in. I have a maker, you have a maker. It’s a good starting point, now we need to cry out for that sense and sanity to help us follow his ways.