Turning Points: My Journey through Psalms (102)
There are pivotal moments in life where you stop and realize that the future could swing in multiple ways. Everyone experiences them, but everyone also reacts to these turning points in different ways–these voltas, or denouements, or whatever you want to call them to represent significant “Ah-ha” moments where we, as protagonists in our own lives, get to choose our destiny.
I can think of a number of times when I have stood on the pivot point in my life.
I am twelve years old and a boy told me, in pretty blunt terms, I was too ugly to ‘go out with’ (not that I was dating at 12, but ‘go out’ at that age meant–go to a school dance, or tell everyone you were boyfriend and girlfriend, and hold hands at school. Maybe even talk a little on AOL instant messenger–yes, that’s a thing.). I remember distinctly standing on that pivot point. Now, I know how important that moment was in shaping me into, well me, but it wasn’t what the boy said, but what I internalized and DID as a result. Because other people do not control our destiny. They affect it. They influence it. But they do not control it.
Well, we make our own choices, and God takes it from there.
In Psalm 102, the poet laments that “my bones burn like glowing embers.” I think that at these pivotal moments in our lives, we have all felt like our bones are melting from the pressure of that moment and what that moment can mean. It can feel as though your whole world is falling apart.
For a 12-year-old, rejection can feel like that.
But that is mild compared to other pivotal life experiences. The loss of a loved one. The disappointment of a broken engagement. The new job opportunity that will tear you apart from family or friends.
In each of these moments, there is a turning point. A divine but, if you will.
But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations.
The volta of this psalm is the pivot point. The Psalmist spends the first part of his poem lamenting his circumstances, crying out for a reprieve.
In my distress I groan aloud and am reduced to skin and bones.
Feelings we can all relate to, I am sure. Imagery that captures the sense of isolation and despair that can completely engulf a person in these times.
The Lord is king, he does not abandon us in these moments, He takes control. He guides. He helps us pivot into the change we can’t see in the moment. Change not only in our lives but for our hearts.
I didn’t punch the boy in the face when I was 12 (maybe I did in my mind…). But I moved on. Forward. Away from the rejection, and into my Father’s arms, where I cried my little heart out and then let it change me. And he did. He shifted my feet and pivoted me into my destiny.