In trouble and in joy

Psalm 34 is a song of praise for deliverance from trouble, attributed to David at the time when he was on the run from King Saul and feared for his life. David (later King David) spoke from experience when he said,

"The Lord is near to the broken hearted, 
and saves the crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34: 18

But when someone is feeling broken hearted and crushed, it can be a very lonely experience, which is why I chose this photo. It can feel that no-one cares, least of all God. It takes an act of faith in the midst of trouble to say with the psalmist,

"I will bless the Lord at all times; 
his praise shall continually be in my mouth."

Psalm 34.1

When my husband and I were married, one of the hymns we chose for our wedding was a metrical version of Psalm 34. The hymn begins,
"Through all the changing scenes of life 
in trouble and in joy  
the praises of my God shall still 
my heart and tongue employ."

This expressed our joint Christian commitment and the recognition that our marriage would include both trouble and joy, since life is like that. Well, it has. And by the grace of God we can still praise him.

This is the 16th in a series of daily Lenten reflections based on a Bible reading or Psalm from the Common Worship Lectionary of the Church of England. This one is based on Psalm 34.