mental and spiritual health

27 Oct

Hello friends, sorry for my absence for a few days.  Of course the big reason is laziness, the other reason is “Downton Abbey”.  My parents and I have watched the first two seasons, supplied by the public library, and we are ready for the third season to begin January 2013.

So on with Psalms, and 32 is wonderful direction for mental and spiritual health.

“Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—
you get a fresh start,
your slate’s wiped clean.

Count yourself lucky—
God holds nothing against you
and you’re holding nothing back from him.”

This is one of my favorite things about my faith.  That each new morning I can wake up and talk to God about anything and begin again with new hope and new possibilities.  I don’t have to be bound by my mistakes or past stupidity, but I can work out a new plan of who I want to become with God’s grace.  The important dynamic the psalmist explains is that we have to be ready to tell God everything.

“When I kept it all inside,
my bones turned to powder,
my words became daylong groans.

The pressure never let up;
all the juices of my life dried up.”

In this section of the psalm, the writer expresses how detrimental it is to hold our pain, or doubts, or hurts inside.  It is said that, what we hid inside of us has power over us.”  So, the psalmist expresses this mental health axiom in this part of the psalm.

“Then I let it all out;
I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”

Suddenly the pressure was gone—
my guilt dissolved,
my sin disappeared.”

I have felt this sense of freedom, have you?  I have often said that guilt is the most useless of emotions.  I believe it is good to realize when we have done something wrong; hurt someone by our actions, but we have to move on.  If we can learn from our mistakes, then guilt is more than useless; it holds us in a bad place, rather than moving us on to a good place.

“These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
we’ll be on high ground, untouched.

God’s my island hideaway,
keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.”

As the psalmist says, prayer is the path.  Prayer is what will keep us safe and sane when the difficulties of life press in on us.  I love the imagine of who God is in verse 7.  It is this kind of relationship with God that keeps us spiritually healthy.

“Let me give you some good advice;
I’m looking you in the eye
and giving it to you straight:

“Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule
that needs bit and bridle
to stay on track.”

10 God-defiers are always in trouble;
God-affirmers find themselves loved
every time they turn around.

11 Celebrate God.
Sing together—everyone!
All you honest hearts, raise the roof!”

 

There is nothing else I can add to the psalmist words, except,”please keep safe and dry in the coming rains.”

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One Response to “mental and spiritual health”

  1. Phyllis Terwilliger October 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Mary,

    I have felt that sense of freedom and you are right about guilt being a useless emotion unless it motivates us to change direction.

    Thanks for making the psalms accessible.

    Phyllis

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