there are some lines in this psalm that are not as easy to digest as they used to be and i am not going to focus on that, because i am clearly not exegiting the psalms, but simply pulling out lines and ideas that strike me…

and with psalm 20, it is verse 6 and 7:

‘Surely You have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of Your presence.’ [verse 6]

i like that phrase ‘the joy of Your presence’ despite being in a place and time where, feelingwise, God feels pretty distant… largely linked to the fact that my wife is sick with a horrible cough and no amount of praying seems to move His hand on that [me and God always seem to have issues on the healing thing – money? no problem, faith for a million bucks… but a simple healing? and just a wall!]… but that is part of my understanding of the concept of joy, i think.

the way i see it, happiness is situation dependent – you give me a chocolate, i am happy – there is nice weather, i am happy – johnny depp is in a new movie, i am happy… whereas joy can be situation irrelevant. so the beautiful Val is sick which does not make me happy, but there is an inner joy linked to a belief in God and in the fact that in the bigger picture everything is taken care of and will be okay again… so for me, joy is kinda like a happiness [similar feeling a lot of the time] but one that runs deeper.

and so ‘the joy of your presence’ is comforting. because i have experienced it to be true, and i imagine i will again. as i like to say [and write], God is bigGER!

‘For the king trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing Love of the Most High, he will not be shaken.’ [verse 7]

what i like about this second verse is the phrase ‘unfailing Love’ which i’ve given a capital ‘L’ to because God’s Love is so much bigger and richer and higher and deeper and effective… and then that because of this Love and being able to trust in it, the king will ‘not be shaken.’

that is powerful. being able to trust in the Love of the God i serve, also helps me not to be shaken. it is something i can cling to. it is something i believe in and it is something i have experienced, both directly and through God’s people, the church. and that is an exciting, transforming thing.