If you are just now joining us in this series, I encourage you to start reading at the earlier posts (links included below) to build the foundation for the thoughts I share here.
1. Looking at the BIG moments that Change Your Life 2. What Happens When a Moment Changes Your Life 3. Hope & Healing in the Holidays 4. Have you noticed what you need this holiday? 5. Say It Like It Really Is
Today we are taking a look from Psalm 77 at the last two letters in our NEPO exercise that invites us open our fists in the middle of our grief and loss and find HOPE AND HEALING IN THE HOLIDAYS (if this doesn’t make sense- go back and read the links above. None of them are very long.)
We have already opened the pinky finger which stands for
N: NOTICE your NEEDS
Then we extended our ring finger also to remind us to
E: EXPRESS your EMOTIONS (honestly)
That brings us to the third and middle finger and the middle of Psalm 77 where the psalmist moves from ‘woe is me’ in verse 10 (back of hand to forehead, remember) to intentionally making a choice in verses 11 &12 to…
PIVOT his PERSPECTIVE
11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
12 They are constantly in my thoughts.
I meditate on your mighty works.
He opens the third finger which means his hand is more open than closed at this point. He pulls out of the self pity and ponders, “Now wait a minute God, I will remember who you really are and all you’ve done.”
I don’t want to move too quickly through this point because it is so very important to taking our next step to living with open hands.
This is a choice he makes- an intentional choice you and I are invited to make.Two little words that make a big change in our perspective…I will… Click To Tweet
- I will recall what you have done
- I will remember your deeds of long ago
- I will meditate on those amazing works
The psalmist, Asaph, doesn’t just notice his needs– though that is important (pinky),
He doesn’t just express his Emotions honestly- crucial to our ability to break free of the past and move forward (ring),
But he chooses now to turn his attention from his needs and his emotions –> to PIVOT HIS PERSPECTIVE (middle)
I will look at who YOU are God, I will see you in YOUr Word; I will look at the things YOU’ve done in the past, not just in my life, but in all of history.
When we turn our attention from our circumstances and how we feel about them- from our NEEDS and our EMOTIONS…
When we have opened our pinky, ring and middle finger, what do we have left?
The O (thumb & pointer)
Some people see an OK. That’s fine. When we open our hands, many things become OK.
But that’s not what the psalmist is saying. His next words are “O God!”
I don’t know about you, but when my daughter died – on the night of her accident, I stood in that cornfield and all I could say was
I couldn’t even say “O God” I could just say “O”.
When I read the Psalms, months after, I realized that is what the psalmist did to.
- He Noticed his Need
- He Expressed his Emotions honestly
- And then chose to Pivot his Perspective
The next thing he says is O!
O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you?
14 You are the God of great wonders!
You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.
15 By your strong arm, you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Interlude
It’s hard to say that when you are angry because you feel like God is responsible for taking your loved one.
But you can choose your response when you have
- Noticed your Need
- And honestly Expressed your Emotions
- When you get to the point of Pivoting your Perspective
You turn from your circumstances and how you feel.
You pivot to see God.
I don’t know how God is showing up for you right now, but he is…! Even in this moment he is.
Where do you see him?
Open the pinky finger on both hands- Notice your Needs.
What do you need today? during this holiday?
Write down whatever comes to mind- even if you are not sure what need it represents for you.
Then open you ring finger along with the pinky finger- Express your Emotions.
What are you feeling right now? fear, sadness, anger? joy, peace, gratitude?
It is often said your heart can’t feel both fear and gratitude at that same time. Sometimes I think you can feel sadness and gratitude at the same time, but it is a special kind of sadness that is life giving- not draining.
Just sit in this moment for a while if needed. Don’t rush embracing what is going on in you.
When you are ready, open your middle finger along with the other two.
How does it feel to have more of your hand exposed?
What does the …I will… look like for you? What do you recall about God and ways that he has worked in your life?
Now look at what your hands are telling you with the thumb and the pointer finger still touching. O!
Where do you see God today?
Maybe he’s not showing up like you think he will. I’m guessing he is not. So look deeper. Perhaps even close your physical eyes and look and listen for him from inside.
O God, ________________________________________
What do you say to God in this blank? You may not be ready to express your awe of God as the psalmist was. That’s ok.
What do you need to express to God in this moment. Say that!
Then listen for his response.
and when your ready- look at your psalm and see what changed
in your needs
in your emotions
in your perspective
in your view of God.
Just know I’m praying for you. I’d love to hear what you are hearing. Leave a note below or email me at kathy@greenhopecoaching.
In the next post, we’re going back to look at the RED SEA again. It has more to teach us. See you soon.