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I had the opportunity to take a few days off at the beginning of the month of October. This is such a rare occurrence for me it seems. One of my favorite things to do, besides play music of course, is to go Fly Fishing. I am not great at it, but as I get older and find myself increasingly busy with life, I find myself longing to unplug more. I used this time off to do that very thing. Fly fishing is the disconnect for me. I love the mountains. I love the river. I love the fish. It is just nice to not be staring at a screen for a change; to really focus on something besides day-to-day life.

With these few days off, I put myself on a mission. Yes, my goal was to go catch some fish, but above that was to spend some time alone before the Lord. No phone to distract me, no work, no school, truly to be alone with God. So, off I go. The first day I brought my brothers along so we could spend some much-needed time together. The second day however, I went alone. I took off to Stone Mountain State Park to see what the day held. I found this smaller pull out on the road, parked, and headed down a trail towards the river. I’ll save you all the boring details of all the fish I managed to NOT catch that day, but I did what I could to be still before the Lord.

Within those several hours of walking around and praying, I felt Jesus pulling me to be more invested in His word. I had gotten into a routine that wasn’t prioritizing time in His word. As a Worship Leader, the most obvious place for me to start was in the book of Psalm. I ran across something that I want to share with you.

Psalm 116

1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.

3 The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    “Lord, save me!”

5 The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
6 The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.

7 Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.

I couldn’t imagine a better passage to come across after those few days away. I love the way the Psalmist starts this off. “I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.” However, verse 2 is what struck me the most. “Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live,” is the way the ESV puts it. The God of creation has turned His ear to hear that cry for mercy. Because of that we can have confidence and call on His name for as long as we live. Verse 3 paints this picture of where we were before. Verse 4 reinforces that call for mercy with an exclamation of “Lord, Save me!” Verse 5 describes who we are calling on. Verse 6, an acknowledgment that He did save. And finally, verse 7, reminding our soul to rest because the Lord has been good. Even in the low parts. Even back in verse 3 where death, the grave, and sorrow had overtaken, the Lord is still good. The Lord is still faithful, gracious, righteous, and full of compassion.

My challenge for you this week, this month, the rest of the year is simple. Praise the Lord! That is how the Psalmist ends this passage. Praise the Lord because He is faithful to save. Even in your low points of the day. Even when it’s hard. Praise the Lord.