Shared Lectio Divina on Psalm XL

I waited, I waited for the LORD.
He stooped down to me, and
He heard my cry.

For whom or what am I waiting?

What is it that I am crying out?

Is it that?for which I truly yearn?

To live is to wait.

I wait for the next moment of joy.
I wait with greater or lesser patience.
I have waited for many people
To see them as if for the first time
To see them grow in wisdom
To see them embrace the cross

To wait is to live.
I live only because the LORD has been patient with me.
I live only because so many others have patiently waited for me.
I live only because the LORD is faithful to his promise
To hear my cry
To stoop down to me
Again and again!

God who is everlasting mercy and love,
All powerful and infinite,
Had taken the time to stoop down to me.

The sun takes notice of a speck of dust.
The moon distinguishes a particular grain of sand.
How special does that grain of sand feel?
Not only does he take notice, he also wishes to help.

The only way anyone would know
That God heard their cry is
If their problem or worry was being addressed.
The person with the worry is being helped.
Shouldn’t all this help and attention
Prove love and provoke love?

He drew me from the deadly pit,
From the miry clay.
He set my feet upon a rock
And made my footsteps firm.

Like Joseph and Jeremiah
I often look up to see that

I am in another deadly pit.

This well is dry.
The mud is deep;

It is miry clay
Like that of which I am made.

What was so deadly?

I was in a pit of miry clay.

Sticky, soft, mucky, clay.
When the ground we travel on

becomes soft so that we sink,

it can be very dangerous.

This well is dry.?
The mud is deep;?
It is miry clay
Like that of which I am made.

What kind of clay does a potter use?

How?much do I “muddy” my life??

My feet are upon the only
Rock of salvation, Christ, the LORD.
My footsteps are

On his narrow paths.

He drew me, he set me,
he made….

God is very physical.

He is truly, physically involved

in my wellbeing.

Here I was in a deadly pit.

Not just any pit, a deadly one.
My life was at stake,
so he saved my life.

I cannot escape by myself!
I need help!
If I walk alone I will get lost
Again and again.

What am I doing here?
Why am I at the bottom of this pit?
Why am I stuck in this miry clay?
My brothers and my enemies have put me here.

I only spoke a truth that got too close to their hearts.
I only spoke His Truth.
If the LORD wants me to move beyond
This rejection, I must depend upon his acceptance
And his assistance.

So when I began sinking
in selfishness, sinfullness…..

He heard my cry and he pulled me out

of this death trap and put me

on solid rock and…….

He made it safe for me

to continue by making my footsteps firm.

It is a continual thing,

not just a one time deal.

This is the situation I am in,

sinking in a pit.
He pull me out and put me on solid rock.

Nothing more solid than rock.

He has stooped down to hear my cry.
Now I can be silent, struck with awe and wonder
At His attentiveness and love!
No matter what pit I find myself in
If you LORD are with me, I do not fear.

He put a new song into my mouth,
Praise of our God.
Many shall see and fear

And shall trust in the LORD.

While all are wrapped in silence,
I hear the song.
It is a new song of joy.
A joy never before seen in this heart of mine.

In the midst of my sadness
I have found a joy unexpected

and unknown?
I can no longer hold back my joy.?

This song will be seen and many will fear.
Perhaps, the song will be HEARD — in the silence.

And it will bring a?peace
that comes from trust in God.?

For the Lord is near.
He is more close in our suffering

than?We could have ever expected.

This is a conversion.

This is a new song

that I have not sung before.

Again it is very physical.

He did not bring to mind

a song that I began to sing,

he literally put it into my mouth.

He fed me this song.

As a parent spoon-feeds their children.

This song is praise of our God.

This is a song

that I should have been singing but was not.

It is a song that every human being

should be singing but are not.

Those who see,

realize their lack of love

and praise for God

and this realization causes them fear.

This is a good thing for all Christians to do,

praise God in front of everyone

so that they all can realize that

this is what they should be doing also….

Once they begin also praising God

their is a trust that comes.

It is a limited group, not all….

but many shall see, fear and trust in the Lord…

You have turned my mourning into gladness.
You have turned my sorrow into joy.
Now for the first time I can sing of the
Joy of the Cross.

In the midst of my sadness

I have found a joy unexpected and unknown
I can no longer hold back my joy.
This song will be seen and many will fear.
For the Lord is near.
He is more close in our suffering than

We could have ever expected.

Happy the man who has placed
His trust in the LORD.
Who has not gone over to the rebels
Who follow false gods.

The happiness that my various idols bring is fleeting.

True happiness, real?joy requires a spirit of trust in God.

But the temptations are real.

Perhaps that’s why there are
So few happy people today.
It’s in vogue to rebel against
God and every authority he has set up.

The man has two choices here,

be happy and trust in the Lord

or ?be rebellious and follow false gods.

Happiness is what everyone wants.

It is a no-brainer.
Now either it is saying if you want to be happy,

trust in the Lord or
If you trust in the Lord you will be happy.

Either appeal to people more
than being rebellious for fighting is not peace or contentment.

Perhaps that’s where I will find
True happiness—
Not trusting myself or any other person
But trusting the LORD and him alone!

False gods have no happiness to offer
No true happiness
Nothing that lasts forever
God alone the One True God offers himself
Which is more happiness than we
Could have ever asked for or imagined.

How many, O Lord My God,
Are the designs and wonders
You have worked for us.
You have no equal.
If I should proclaim and speak of them
They are more than I can tell.

O LORD, my God, you are

Countless are the ways and means
You employ to catch us unawares.
So that we might not ever take credit
For our own conversion and growth
No one could be so powerful and so gentle.

Indeed, we are overwhelmed and delighted
With the joy of your salvation.
We cannot give thanks enough for all the

Ways you have made us new from the heart
To the head, every feeling and every thought
Is yours now.
We are yours now.

You do not ask for sacrifice or offerings,
But an open ear.
You do not ask for holocausts and victim,
Instead, here am I.

Here am I with my open ears.
I long to offer myself as a living sacrifice.
I long to give my whole self:
Body, mind, spirit, will, intellect, my all!

Here am I with my open ears.
I hear your invitation to embrace the cross.
I hear your summons to carry my cross.
You have taught me to love the cross I carry.

Jesus,?too, had to have ears

Open to obedience, which led him to his cross.
Obedience is not an easy discipline

Especially when the commands do not?
Always seem clear …

But open ears and a will/desire to say

“Here I am” is?what God wants.

Here am I with my open heart.
I can no longer find a spark of hope outside of the cross.
I can no longer find fire blazing without the sacred wood.
Finally, I am one with the holocaust and victim.

All you ask is that we listen and heed.

We can give our most precious gift, ourselves.

This is the ultimate gift,

It is the only appropriate gift.

In the scroll of the book it stands written
That I should do your will.
My God, I delight in your law
In the depth of my heart.

The scroll: ancient, tradition,

What comes down from the early times,

From the beginning, this tradition or law,

This law should be something burdensome
As are most laws and yet I delight in it.

How contrary.

What about this ancient law

That delights the depths of my heart?

The great joy comes from adhering

To what we should always adhere?

Because of the outcome of adhering to it.

This is what God wants.

We derive great joy from doing

What someone we love wants us to do.

This book is not mere text.
It is the heart upon which He has written
That only his will is worth doing
And now that my will is his—what joy!

To do your will is my delight;

My God, your law is in my?heart!??
What one treasures in the heart

Is real delight, real joy.

Ultimately, it ?is the law of love.

Indeed, I delight in this new heart!
Never could I have imagined such

A life of simple surrender;
Never have I been so light-hearted.

Your justice I have proclaimed
In the great assembly.
My lips I have not sealed;
You know it, O LORD.

I no longer frequent great assemblies;
Smaller is better these days.
In the past I have proclaimed the
Justice of God.
Sometimes “restraint” can be considered

To be a virtue.

More importantly, though,?
Proclaiming justice can be done

with more than words from one’s lips.
Actions speak louder than words.

And written words and images

can? sometimes speak again and again,

and reach more vast assemblies.

The size of the assembly is

Much less important than

the faithfulness of the?witness.

God has ways of multiplying the effects

of one’s words and actions?on the hearts

and minds of others however few they may be.

Indeed, the?one who sows

and the one who reaps are rarely the same.?

Let us not forget the justice of God,

“the deed” that is not hidden within? the heart,

the “enduring kindness” that is to be proclaimed?

And how dare we proclaim it?

By doing likewise?

We are to declare to everyone

how God has helped us in our lives.
To keep silent suggests that

we have done all on our own,

that God may not deserve any credit,

and also does not thank God

for all he has done for us.

Telling or declaring to others

what God has done for us

telling others how much God loves us.

Spreading the good news
of God’s love for all of us.

He alone is the Just One
And there is no other.
All things work out for the good
For those who love him.

It’s next to impossible to not
Proclaim his justice and love.
To be completely mute is not easy.
Our lips were made for His Praise.

Only you know the full extent of my witness
And the heights and depths of my praise.
And that’s enough for me
Actually, that’s more than enough.

I have not hidden your justice in my heart
But declared your faithful help.
I have not hidden your love and your truth
From the great assembly.

Justice is not limited to the heart
It must overflow the heart into the world.
This is the very justice of God
That rules our lives and gives us life.

It is his mighty love beyond all loves
That has dominion in our hearts and lives.
It is his great truth that cannot be held back
It must be proclaimed.

In the greatest assembly
Where all the saints are gathered,
Only truth and love triumph
There every word and desire is known.

There is no greater assembly
When He comes the great king
To gather all who have struggled
All those who are victorious in Him.

On that great day, the day of fire
It will be suffering and loss for the cruel
It will be rejoicing and gain for the gentle.
Pure fire makes us pure, all of us.
For both the just and the unjust it hurts

But for some it heals and for others it just hurts.

O Lord, you will not withhold
Your compassion from me.
Your merciful love and your truth
Will always guard me.

Nothing and no one protects me
Like the LORD protects me.
He guards me day and night
I have no fear.

God will always surround me

with his mercy and compassion.

This is really needed

With all the wrong we do every day.

Your truth will always guard me.

The truth is the Word.

On the right and on the left
He sets up his guard.
Liberating Truth in front of me
And Merciful Love follows me.

These strong guards keep me safe
And I am wrapped in tender compassion.
It is such intimacy that gives me life
And hope for life eternal.

The LORD does not back away in disgust
He does not hide himself in fear
Of being seen with me.
He does not hesitate nor withhold his love.

This is the kind of love our world needs
A love that is unafraid and unconditional
Only this love will set people free
Only this love will free the whole world
LORD send forth your love and mercy
Then we shall have live in abundance!

For I am beset with evils
Too many to be counted
My sins have fallen upon me
And my sight fails me.
They are more than the hairs of my head
And my heart sinks.

The only real regret of a saint
Is that his conversion took so long!
Indeed the heart sinks into sadness
When considering all the opportunities missed.

Countless the sins of Eve our mother
The sins of commission, of disobedience and rebellion.
Countless likewise the sins of Adam our father
The sins of omission, of neglecting the spouse at his side.

Sin hides our sight
We have no vision when they fall upon us.
Sin distorts the clarity
Need to love and to receive love.

It’s so easy to get lost in all the memories
Of commission and omission
Of pride and lack of compassion
Such memories suffocate and overwhelm
So many sins of commission and omission.

The more you know about sin

The more you realize how often

It is happening in your life.

You realize how often you fall short

Of what God wishes for us.

Sin blinds us to the truth,

To Christ, to the Word, creating a likelyhood

That we will continue sinning more and more.

God’s love for us and his mercy
Help us to realize that something is wrong,

Something is diminishing.

This feeling or realization causes our hearts to sink.

O Lord, come to my rescue,
Lord, come to my aid.
O let there be shame and confusion
On those who seek my life.

Those who seek my life are not necessarily
Those who seek to live like I live.
Those who seek my life are trying to kill me.
I can identify them as vice and sin.

When I give in to either enemy
Then I am filled with shame and confusion.
Then I need grace and mercy
To grow in virtue and holiness.

It is the LORD alone who can rescue me.
It is the LORD alone who comes to my aid.
Without his attentive mercy
Without his healing love
I am lost in shame and confusion.

When God helps us to realize

that we are in trouble,

when we are going blind,

when we are drifting from Him,

our immediate reaction should be

to cry out to Him and ask Him for help.

We know that we need his help.

Only He can help bring us back,

rescue us from evil.

O let them turn back in confusion
Who delight in my harm.
Let them be appalled, covered with shame,
Who jeer at my lot.

Anyone or thing that would be glad

That someone is growing away from God

Must be evil.

This is an evil deed and no one
Should wish evil on another.

The only one who has jeered at my lot
The only one who has delighted in my harm
Is the evil one.
His delight and jeering is truly a waste of time
Indeed, the devil drives me to prayer.
He’s his own worst enemy.

O let there be rejoicing and gladness
For all who seek you.
Let them ever say: ‘the LORD is great’,
Who love your saving help.

Who would not love the saving help of God?
Who would not want to cry out:
“The LORD is great?”
Only those who do not seek the LORD.
Only those who do not rejoice.
Only those who are not glad.

In finding there is great rejoicing and gladness
But is there the same in seeking the LORD?
Indeed, when we seek we find!
Indeed, when we ask we receive!
Indeed, when we knock the door is opened
And we find ourselves entering into the banquet hall
And we find ourselves welcoming

All those we never thought would make it
Especially those we never saw seeking the LORD!

When we seek the Lords help,

Our cry is heard.

God is always ready to respond

To our cry for help.

What a wonderful thing,

To be able to ask for help and get it.

This is something that is only true of God.

We should shout for joy always.

As for me, wretched and poor,
The LORD thinks of me.
You are my rescuer, my help,
O God, do not delay.

I know who I am
I am wretched and poor
Of myself I have nothing
Of myself I am nothing!

The Lord is ready to help me always.

He is the only one who can truly help.
I can not meditate on how my soul

Or my spiritual life is TRULY
For I know that it is wretched, wow,

Wretched is such a strong word.

A person can not sink

Much lower than wretched.

Once the realization sinks in

I wish for the Lord to not delay

One second from rescuing me.

But to know that the LORD
Thinks of me!
That gives me great worth value

And importance no one can snatch away.

Why does he think of me?
Because he loves me.
Why does he love me?
Because he is love.

I know he is my rescuer
I know he is my helper
I know I have waited and waited
Now I pray, do not delay.