Psalm 113: Barren and Poor

Words mock. Give up. Stop trying. Call it quits. The phrase, “bloom where you are planted” does not work, when you fall into cement.

Here’s the back story.

I’ve been blogging my way through the Psalms since the winter of 2010. My plan was to meditate on one Psalm each week and trust God to feed my spirit through His words. Then I would share the treasures He gave me in a weekly blog. For me, it was to be an exercise in practicing Bible consumption in a daily and open way.

The point of my “Psalm blog exercise” was to feed my spiritual self with God’s words and help on the ordinary days when no preacher is available. I happen to believe it’s okay to try to learn from the Bible as best you can with God alongside of you. (Actually, it’s a survival skill. You never know when you will be alone without teachers like your pastor or Joel Osteen to guide you.) God is really quite good at helping us understand things if we are sincere and ask Him to help us. The wisdom we get when we read may not be seminary material, but it can be sufficient for OUR one-day’s evil and momentary help.

Several weeks ago, I reached a very negative place in my passion and purpose for writing. The knowledge and skill I need to compete in the market seems too big. The byproduct of my discouragement killed my desire to blog. The book of Psalms is too cheerful.

Why do I write at all?

I write because of a story—my fiction story. It burns in my heart, because it touches on a topic that I am passionate about—child molestation. You need to be very skilled to pitch ANYTHING to the entertainment industry, and if you are skilled, some stories are more of a problem to pitch than others are.

I’ve been working for several years on my story writing skills. I am currently studying screenwriting. Over the last 4 years, I have studied novel writing. All the effort I endure is to make my story better, so that there is a better chance it will be heard.

But there are no guarantees. For me to accept that my effort could end in the ditch is hard.

Here’s the reality.

The market for films and novels is extremely brutal. Venturing into this territory is an “all or nothing” gamble. Either you succeed in being published or produced, or you don’t succeed. I am reminded often that audiences don’t like to spend money if they are not “entertained.” It’s challenging to come up with an entertaining story that touches on the topic of child molestation.

“Write your passion,” is an artistic form of advice that I get all the time. The problem is MY passion may never sell. The other advice, “Write for the market,” doesn’t work either. My passion is what helps me continue trying.

So I almost quit. My logic said, “If your potential for success is already handicapped by your age, your topic, and your lack of skill, then why should you beat yourself up trying to write?

Fortunately another voice answered.

Psalm 113 arrived in my blog sequence. Along with the customary cheerfulness about praising the Lord, the verses contained a description about the kind of God that God is. My “customary” praise is now jaw-dropping acclaim when I see the picture(s) the Psalmist paints.

One screen shows a barren woman, and the other displays a poor man. What they have in common is an outcome, beyond what is humanly expected, and it happens because of a praiseworthy God—a God who defies human logic—who brings success in unexpected ways. Even more miraculous is the fact that the category of success for the “barren and poor” is described as being within the very thing they lacked!

Read it for yourself.

“Who is like the Lord our God, who has set His seat on high, who humbles Himself to regard the heavens and the earth!

The Lord raises the poor out of the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap and the dung hill, that He may set them with princes, even with the princes of His people.

He makes the barren woman to be a homemaker and a joyful mother of spiritual children.

Praise the Lord!

Hallelujah!”

Psalm 113:5-9

It is an overwhelming destiny to be poor, needy, and barren, but when it becomes the stomping ground for an awe-inspiring God, amazing things can happen.

Don’t you think?

 

My Prayer

Dear God, I am sorry. I forgot who I am and who Yjou are. Heal my amnesia, and send me on the way I am to walk, because no other way will do. Praise to Your name. The name that is, has, humbles, regards, raises, lifts, seats, and makes life worth living. Amen.

 

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