By Jamin Roller
The personal nature of the psalms in Book I demonstrates that all those who place their hope and trust in the Lord, aligning their lives with His kingdom, can rest in His deliverance.
My dad’s favorite soda is root beer. As a kid, I remember watching him get a chilled mug out of the fridge, open a glass bottle of IBC Root Beer and fill his cup to the top. If you have ever done this, you know the top half of the glass is mostly a light layer of foam that bubbles on top, and the bottom half is the actual drink. Sometimes he would drink through the foam, but most of the time he would pour the top layer out to get straight to the substance.
The book of Psalms invites us to do something similar in our prayers to God. To get straight to the substance of our soul.
There is a way to talk to God and simply stay at the thin, lighter layer of life. This sounds like praying about things that are easy to pray about or are far removed from my life and heart.
Over and again, we see the Psalms push through the thin, light layer and commune with God in the substance of our lives. Often that means talking to God about the dark and difficult parts of life.
Consider some of the lines from the psalms written by David we just read, specifically Psalm 18:4, 22:11, and 23:4. While there is a different occasion behind each psalm, what they share in common is raw, honest speech before God about how dark and difficult life is. David not only trusts God with the deeper struggles of the soul, he believes God wants to hear from him especially in those times. That honesty before God becomes the backdrop upon which hope in God is realized, and trust in God is strengthened.
Remember, the prayers, songs and poems of Psalms have served the people of God for centuries to guide them into worship of and communion with God. If at times you, like me, struggle to get beneath the thin layer into the substance, God has provided in these psalms a way to be led into deeper waters of honesty before Him that leads to hope and trust in Him.