After a doctor’s appointment, some tests and a scary diagnosis entered my life in the last month, I find myself going back through Psalms verse by verse.
The Psalms speak to me quietly with words of comfort that remind me I am not alone in my emotions, feelings or life struggles.
The Psalms remind me that it is good to voice questions, deep thoughts and painful sighs in my daily prayers to God.
The Psalms encourage me to speak freely with my Creator and find strength in the surety of His promises.
The Psalms challenge me to walk faithfully in His ways regardless of what is happening in the world around me.
The Psalms guide my decisions, bring clarity, give room for grief and lift sorrow to joy.
My life, like yours, is full of discord, a discord that is mirrored in the Psalms.
Health issues, upcoming transitions, realities on the field, goodbyes, and all the technicalities of our lives overseas compile in a discord that will send me back to Psalms again and again.
Marriage overseas, parenting TCKs, packing another box, and learning a new city. Feeling alone in seas of people, wondering about family situations back home or praying for patience as the neighbor’s goat gets louder and louder.
Big and small, walking through discord is a part of our days.
In those moments of discord, I fall to my knees where the Psalms sweep in to soften the fall against the floor.
I find peace in the words, comfort in the knowing that someone has walked discord before me.
Then, another situation comes up and the discord grows and the need to dig back through the Psalms rises once more.
This is real life. A walk in discord. An adventure in forgiveness because of the discord. A lesson in learning to sleep in peace through the discord. A journey of trust, hope and remembrance from one walk in discord to the next.
My current walk in discord brought me to Psalm 23. It is a well-known, easily skipped over, much overused Psalm but it clearly spoke to me about the realities of discord throughout life.
Psalm 23 is a walk through discord.
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Six verses of beautiful, peaceful, wonderful, promise-filled discord.
Read it through. Write it. Circle words of discord. What do you notice?
As I was reading and writing this Psalm, I noticed afresh the green pastures and the darkest valley. I noticed the quiet waters but the need to fear no evil and know God is with me. I noticed a table has been prepared for me but the enemies are still there. I noticed peace existing in chaos.
The discord of hope in the midst, refreshing in an ongoing trial, lacking nothing but needing everything to make it through and knowing goodness is following me but wondering if it is also ahead of me.
Psalm 23 is a walk through discord that draws pictures of beauty with the reality of darkness.
Psalm 23 is valleys of death, the presence of enemies and the fear of evil but it is also the deep, abiding, amazing promises of God.
I am learning that this walk of discord is remembering those deep, abiding, amazing promises even though the realities of darkness are still there.
We can walk through the valley of discord knowing that the promises of God will carry us and comfort us all the days of our lives.
I am also learning a few tips for walking in discord.
- Take it one day at a time. Go slow and do the next thing.
- Stay in the Word. Only God’s Word can speak to the deepest parts of your heart in a season of discord.
- Minimize distractions. Seasons of discord are seasons to focus in on what really matters.
- Listen and watch. What is God saying and what is He showing you right now through the discord?
- Trust the faithfulness of God. His promises are true and we can walk through discord because of our mighty, faithful God. He will not leave you. He will help you.
Now, because I’m walking through discord, I’d love your help. What are your tips for walking through discord? What is your go-to verse when life is hard? What is your process of remembering God’s promises when valleys of darkness come your way?
What is God saying to you right now in your walk through discord?