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Surrounded by Mercy

I woke up to 26 text messages this morning.

I’m on a text thread with five east coast girlfriends.  And I woke up to this question:
Overwhelmed with life.  Anyone else?

It was unanimous.

And three hours after the question was asked, I raised my hand through one tiny little woman-raising-her-hand cartoon.

This photo was sent:


Three and a half weeks ago, Tina lost her mom very suddenly.  And very unexpectedly.  And she’s been camping on The Message’s version of Psalm 34:17-18.  This morning, I turned it into my prayer during a quiet time I didn’t want but knew I needed.

Because I know that I get caught up in His love when I have no strength.  Especially when I don’t necessarily want strength.  When I don’t want the resolve of faith to wash over me.  When I don’t want to find the strength to be strong for another day.

That’s where I was this morning.  But just when I want to push Him away, He comes closer still.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted.

I began praying through the Message’s version of Psalm 34.  And God began shushing me with cross references and whispers of truth.  Promises of strength I don’t need to have for myself.  Because He provides it.

I bless God every chance I get.  My lungs expands with His praise.  I live and breathe God.  Help me to expand my lungs with Your praise this morning.  Help me to know and understand that I live and breathe YOU.

God, meet me more than halfway.  Free me from my anxious fears.  May Your Spirit encamp all around me today.  Because the Angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him.  Not those other anxiety-fueled things.  And she who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround her.  (Psalm 32:10)  Mercy shall surround.  Goodness.  Kindness.  Faithfulness shall surround me.  Because when I am faithless, You pick up my slack.  You meet me more than halfway.  And You are still faithful.

You throw your arms around me, lavishing attention on me, guarding me as the apple of Your eye. (Deuteronomy 32:10)  Because You guide me with Your eye.  (Psalm 32:8).  And Your eye is on those who fear YOU.

Not those other anxiety-fueled things.

Your eye is on those who hope in Your mercy.  (Psalm 33:18)

That same mercy that surrounds me.

You are like an eagle hovering over its nest, overshadowing its young, then spreading its wings, lifting them into the air, and teaching them how to fly. (Deuteronomy 32:11)

You surround me with songs of deliverance.  I hear the song.  Pressing.  And soothing.  And quieting.  My pen can’t keep up, and my coffee needs a refill but I can’t for a second step away.  And then You smile.  And whisper:

I’m happy to have you back.  I’ll calm you with My love.  And delight you with My song.  Until you’re ready to tackle this day with Me.

I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.  I looked to Him, and am radiant.

And ready to tackle this day.

(Zephaniah 3:17, Psalm 34:4-5)

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