Turn Us, O God ~ Psalm 85


one sheep separated from others

To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.

LORD, Thou hast been favorable unto Thy land:
Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.
Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of Thy people,
Thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
Thou hast taken away all Thy wrath:
Thou hast turned Thyself from the fierceness of Thine anger.

Turn us, O God of our salvation,
and cause Thine anger toward us to cease.
Wilt Thou be angry with us forever?
Wilt Thou draw out Thine anger to all generations?
Wilt Thou not revive us again,
that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?
Show us Thy mercy, O LORD,
and grant us Thy salvation.

Psalm 85:1-7

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God has forgiven us, redeemed us, and brought us to a good land. Why is it that we are so soon turned away from Him?

Truly I am a sheep of His fold. No longer do I belong to the wicked one, for He bought me with His own blood. But still—though redeemed—I have not ceased to be a dumb sheep. I get turned around. And when I look up, I cannot see the Shepherd, and I don’t have the sense to turn my head and see that He is right there beside me. Turn me, O God of my salvation!

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Everything is going great when everything is going great. I’m on top of the world when I get up in the morning and can take my morning walk, drink my morning coffee, read my morning Psalm, write my morning blog post, do home school lessons with my daughter, then go about my other daily responsibilities and even take a dip in our nice clean pool in the afternoon. When the bills are all paid, we have plenty of good food on the table and grateful folks there to eat it, we can give generously to those who have needs, the children are well behaved, and the vehicles run as they should, my heart is full of rejoicing. Whose wouldn’t be?

If one thing falls out of order, I’m usually still okay.

But heaven forbid the day should go totally awry….

I wake up late because I had a migraine the night before, so I can’t take my morning walk. The coffee tastes bad to me for no reason at all. The morning Psalm is my blog post, so I kill two birds with one stone, but somehow I don’t feel like I’m being fed.

But wait! There’s more…

The swimming pool pump breaks, and though it’s still under warranty, I can’t find the receipt. In the meantime, the algae spores are multiplying faster than rabbits. I love to sit outside to study and write, but the fire ants sting me unmercifully, so we are trying everything we can to get rid of them. But they retaliate, and now we have ants in the kitchen and the bathrooms. They start in the cat’s food, so we move the cat’s food. Then they find the cookies, so we move the cookies. Then they find something that has rolled under the refrigerator, so we pull out the refrigerator and clean that up. Now they are on one of the counters. Heaven forbid they should find the pantry and the other counter too! I’m still trying to conquer them using non-toxic means to keep our cat from getting sick. Oh yes, our cat is sick. We take him in for his annual check-up, and his heart murmur is worse, and they want to do tests and more blood work. I don’t even like cats. Now I have to pay doctor bills for an unwanted (by me) cat.

But wait! There’s more….

I discover that the mortgage didn’t get paid because it was sold to yet another lender and the direct debit no longer works. So I write a check and send it in. A dear friend is waiting with a heavy heart for his daughter to go to be with Jesus after a grievous illness has stricken her body; then I learn that he too is in the hospital with chest pains, and my heart breaks for his grief. Mercifully, the Lord takes my friend’s daughter Home and gives her parents grace to say, “See you there.” We cannot go to the funeral because it’s too far away, so we decide to send a check to help out with expenses—only to discover that the mortgage check has bounced! How could that have happened? The money was there when the check was sent. In fact, there was twice what we needed. How could it all be gone? Maybe it’s the cat’s fault. I don’t have time just now to look into it because it’s my turn to take dessert to the ladies’ Bible study, and the muffins are coming out of the oven. But they have all stuck in the pan and look dreadful by the time I scrape them out and situate them onto the serving plate. Then the phone rings. My phone never rings! And of course, it’s an important call from a client, one that can’t be ignored. I take the call and pretend not to be hurried or flustered. But as soon as the call is over, the panic resumes. I go back to the muffins, pipe on the cream cheese frosting not nearly as neatly as I had intended, cover them, and hurry out the door. A year I’ve been attending this ladies’ Bible study, and this is my first time to be late—the night I bring the dessert! Go figure. I enter the house with a tear-streaked face, balancing two plates of muffins on one arm, and my Bible and purse in the other, prepared to tell them about how Mary of Bethany learned to be still and know that Jesus is God. She learned—but apparently I still have not.

At least while crossing the Escambia Bay Bridge, on my way to Bible study, while tears flow down my face, I have the presence of mind to thank God for the lovely sunset. He sure can paint a beautiful sunset! I am so glad the Lord is willing to take me, dumb sheep that I am, and keep turning me around, over and over again, as often as I need Him to, so that when I look up, I may see His lovely face and know, as the Shunamite woman, that all shall be well.

2 Kings 4:18-23 And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. And he said unto his father, “My head, my head.” And he said to a lad, “Carry him to his mother.” And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out. And she called unto her husband, and said, “Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.” And he said, “Wherefore wilt thou go to him today? It is neither new moon, nor Sabbath.” And she said, “It shall be well.”

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Photo courtesy of Phú Nguyen and Pixabay

2 thoughts on “Turn Us, O God ~ Psalm 85

    • Thank you, Lynn. I actually wrote that nearly a year ago. Since then the ants have found the pantry, and they came by the thousands. They sting me while I’m sitting on the sofa in the living room. They sting my feet when I’m sitting in the bathroom. Suffice to say I am over ants and just about ready to call in the professionals. (If I weren’t so stubborn, they would have been here by now.)


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