I actually was never the greatest at the Psalms (the 19th book of the bible, depending on who’s version you read). When I first them them through in their entirety, it didn’t seem to enlighten me any further. That could be said the same for the second time I read them through. Now, in my third time of reading them through, I’ve been starting to get them, at least a little bit more. Psalms were always hard for me, it was as if I didn’t fully grasp their meaning. I was always analyzing them, dissecting them, trying to make sense of them but I never was able to grab a hold of them.
It wasn’t until I realized that’s not you go about reading Psalms. I started to realize that Psalms are about connecting with them, feeling them, understanding the emotion and beauty that they are painting. As someone who was not one to understand emotion either, it makes sense that Psalms were hard for me at first.
But as I’ve grown in my emotional awareness along with my creativity to start looking at the world a little less analytically, all of a sudden Psalms are starting to make a bit more sense. You don’t read Psalms to dissect (although you definitely can do that too!), you read Psalms to feel, to empathize, to experience the expression of one’s heart to God. Psalms are meant to put words to our emotions, for us to look to, understand and relate.
As I have read the Psalms, the more my words and my prayers have taken on their words. They’ve become my own expression. Things like, my God, my God where are you? Why have you abandoned me? (Psalm 22) You have taken away all that I’ve loved. Why do you reject me? (Psalm 86) or God remember your promises to me, don’t forget! (Psalm 119) They have been language to me to help me articulate emotion I may be feeling to God.
They also have been words to me to remind me of who God is when I feel low, like may Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things God does for me (Psalm 103) or I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! (Psalm 121) or The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me (Psalm 18)
There are countless Psalms that paint and depict every emotion and situation we may find ourselves in with God. The more we are able to read Psalm and relate to those emotions, ultimately, the more we are able to learn to relate to God. Psalms are the expression of humanity’s personal relationship with God and the more we read them, the more we begin to understand who God is, who we are to Him, and all the in between emotions. Our emotions aren’t bad, they are just a part of the picture we have with God.
I would encourage you to begin reading the Psalms, perhaps one a day. With the exception of a few long ones, you could get though the book in half of year and in the process, discover a new facet of our relationship with God—an emotional expression of ourselves to Him.