I have a confession to make–sometimes I get tired of words. Tired of my own. Tired of hearing them from others. Tired of saying them, tired of praying them–tired of writing them. We all use so many words. Sometimes we’re careless or insensitive and use the wrong words. Other times we use the right words, but we don’t live them. Our intentions are usually good but in the frailty of our humanity, we frequently miss the mark … and our words fail.
On a recent sleepless night, I didn’t need more of my own words. And I didn’t need someone else’s words. I needed a higher vision and a higher hope than weak, fickle human words could offer. I needed his words … because his words are better than mine.
I started reading–and declaring–his words from the Psalms of Ascent:
I lift my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth (Ps.121:1-2).
If the LORD had not been on our side–let Israel say–if the LORD had not been on our side when men attacked us, when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive. Praise be to the LORD, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped (Ps. 124:1-3, 6-7).
Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore. The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous (Ps. 125:1-3).
Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping carrying seed to sow will return with songs of joy carrying sheaves with him (Ps.126:5-6).
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor, blessings and prosperity will be yours (Ps.128:1-2).
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the LORD more than watchmen wait for the morning (Ps. 130:5-6).
Lord, I lift my eyes to you. My soul waits for you. Whom have I in heaven, but you? Who can rescue, who can redeem, who can restore–but you? You are the One who brings beauty from ashes; you are the One who somehow, someway causes all things to work together for my good. You are the One who is always for me and always with me. And you are the One–the only One–who always does what you say you will do.
Tonight I feel like my faith is hanging by a thread, but that’s my grip on you–your grip on me is strong and steadfast. It is by sheer force of will–not by feelings of strength or faith–that I ascend your holy hill. It is a conscious, willful choice to lift my eyes and my heart to you. My heart and my flesh may fail, but you are my strength and my portion forever. Tonight weeping endures, but joy will come in the morning. That’s your word and your words never fail …
Because your words are better than mine.