Qoph: Following After


Today’s Readings: 2 Kings 13, 2 Timothy 3, Hosea 5-6, Psalm 119:145-176

Good Morning! As I’m writing at night I’m praying that by the time you read this, it will be indeed a good morning. I’ve been on the floor for the past 3 hours trying to soothe our 17 month old who has been struck down by hand foot and mouth disease! Special plans to take our son to Wicked this evening had to be altered so that this Momma could stay at home and tend to the minute by minute needs of the baby. As the clock has ticked down I find myself pleading with God to “make her sleep” and “end this virus for her.” It’s so silly. I’ve been through this before and I’ll be right back here again in the future. What is it about our human experience that leads us to lose all perspective in our moments of struggle? I find myself here all the time. “Lord, this is really bad, please just deliver me from this situation, make it shorter just for me, please Lord make me comfortable again!” Will I remember this evening a week from now? How about a month from now? Of course not! I’ll be in the thick of some new problem that I’m wanting my Heavenly Father to fix. Today’s psalm really spoke to me. It starts out with this weird word: Qoph. I couldn’t help but look it up to see what that was all about. I learned that Psalm 119 is unique in that it is the only psalm that is broken up into 22 equal stanzas and organized in order of the 22 Hebrew letters. Our section today begins with the letter Qoph or Koph which means literally “the back of the head or in context; following after.


With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord!
I will keep your statutes.
 I call to you; save me,
that I may observe your testimonies.
I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I hope in your words.
 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promise.
Hear my voice according to your steadfast love;
O Lord, according to your justice give me life.
They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose;
they are far from your law.
But you are near, O Lord,
and all your commandments are true.
 Long have I known from your testimonies
that you have founded them forever.” (Psalm 119:145-152)

So often I lie awake in bed in the morning before the sun rises and before my family stirs just to talk to God about my worries. I love that the Bible Journal project brought this Psalm to me for the first time today. It’s so reassuring that God is near, that his commandments are true. I believe we can all be encouraged by the notion that we are not the only ones crying out to God with our whole heart. And then the best part:

O Lord, according to your justice, give me life. (Psalm 119:149)

That bears repeating to ourselves over and over. According to YOUR justice, not ours. There is no deserving in this life. Just as we’ve been reminded in these past weeks, our faith is strengthened by the trials we endure on this earth. God gives us life according to what he believes is just. He determines what we need and all we need to do is respond to that with sensitivity and awareness. I found myself texting a friend this evening complaining that every single holiday is ruined in our family but someone getting sick. I really went for it with the “poor me” attitude. What I don’t want to see, is his grace in the midst of what I believe to be a storm. Tomorrow, I get to stay at home with my little sick baby. Of course, she’ll get better and I’ll forget all about the frustration of having to care for her whiny needs. In the meantime, I can choose to cry out to God all day, complaining to him about how unfair it is that she’s sick and our family plans are not going to work out according to our plan. Or I can choose to see the treasure he’s left for me in it. I can enjoy a cozy day with this piece of my heart, just she and I. I can revel in the opportunity to care for just her. Isn’t that why he put us here together, to care deeply for one another?

Thank you Lord for this opportunity. For gently teaching us through your word. For encouraging us to cry out to you when we are angry or frustrated. For gently molding and shaping us to be more like you. Thank you for precious times that are not our plan but yours. We love you and we are open to your plan.