Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spiritual Journey Thursday - Psalm 119, An Acrostic Poem

     I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
Thank you Margaret Simon for encouraging us to link up poetry this month using the hashtag #digipoetry.  Also, thank you Leigh Anne Eck for creating a button for us to use.
This week's theme is EASTER.
     I love when something serendipitous happens with a Spiritual Journey Thursday's theme.  I really didn't know exactly what I was going to write about, but then Libby and I were talking tonight, and she brought up Psalm 119 being an acrostic poem.  What?!  An acrostic poem?!  Perfect for a #digipoetry connection, but she said more.  She talked about  how sometimes when she reads the Bible she feels inadequate. I concurred.  A lot of times we don't understand the full context and culture behind some of the scriptures, and therefore, they often seem impossible to uphold or follow.  Psalm 119 almost made her feel that way because of the author's utter devotion and immersion in God's laws and commandments, until she read the study notes.  The notes made her realize his piety ultimately came from pain, persecution, and humility (knowing he fell short).  This was before Jesus came, before grace entered the world, and before the Word was fully realized.  Only the law existed.  The psalmist suddenly seemed a lot more like us. 
     What does this have to do with Easter?  Everything.  We all fall miserably short of God's laws, expectations, and example.  We can't possibly meet the demands of scripture.  We can do our best to do good works, be faithful, read the Bible, and treat others kindly.  However, we mess up all the time.  We ARE completely inadequate.  God sent His Son to take care of all that.  We don't have to be perfect.  Our sins died with Him on the cross, but then He rose.  He is alive, and therefore, we can rest in His perfection. 
     I love what my Zondervan NIV Study Bible says about the acrostic poem.  "The author had a theme that filled his soul, a theme as big as life, that ranged the length and breadth and height of a person's walk with God.  Nothing less that the use of the full power of language would suffice, and of that the alphabet was a most apt symbol."
Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
    who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
    and seek him with all their heart—
they do no wrong
    but follow his ways.
You have laid down precepts
    that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast
    in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
    when I consider all your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart
    as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees;
    do not utterly forsake me.
(Read the rest here.)


  1. Thank you for providing this space for us to write about our spiritual journey.

    1. Deborah - I'm thrilled that you've joined us!

  2. You always make me think deeper on Thursday. The feeling of inadequacy is with me every day. We must fight it with bravery and practice. I feel inadequate about my poem today. So much to express. But I can't hide. Even if my expression is inadequate, it's out there. For better or worse.

  3. I need to go back read this again more slowly...thinking about each verse. This one seemed to stick with me on the first reading.

    My soul is weary with sorrow;
    strengthen me according to your word.

    I think it is because I am trying so hard to change or maybe shape is a better word, and I feel like I let Him down all the time. I guess no one said the journey would be easy. Thanks for making me think today.

  4. Holly, your post is refreshing as we ponder our inadequacies. This week, the words did not flow as easily as before. Even with giving my writing back to the Lord, I found that I needed to become much more reflective about the flow. Perhaps, my offering will be a most humble one. Resurrection is powerful and I am just a humble servant trying to weave a tale.

  5. Thank you for ... "However, we mess up all the time. We ARE completely inadequate. God sent His Son to take care of all that. We don't have to be perfect. Our sins died with Him on the cross, but then He rose. He is alive, and therefore, we can rest in His perfection."