Though Mary loved Jesus—life was hard, real hard. Two sons preceded her in death as did two grandsons, both victims of shootings. And Mary herself suffered a crippling stroke that left her paralyzed on one side. Yet, as soon as she was able she made her way to church services where it wasn’t uncommon for her—with fractured speech—to express praise to the Lord with words like, “My soul loves Jesus; bless His name!”
Long before Mary expressed her praise to God, David penned the words of Psalm 63. The heading of the psalm notes that David wrote it “when he was in the Desert of Judah.” Though in a less than desirable—even desperate—situation, he didn’t despair because he hoped in God. “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you . . . in a dry and parched land where there is no water” (v. 1).
Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a place of difficulty, without clear direction or adequate resources. Uncomfortable situations can confuse us, but they need not derail us when we cling to the One who loves us (v. 3), satisfies us (v. 5), helps us (v. 7), and whose right hand upholds us (v. 8). Because God’s love is better than life, like Mary and David, we can express our satisfaction with lips that praise and honor God (vv. 3–5).
Jesus, I’m so grateful that I can praise You in the dry, desperate times of my life because Your love is better than life!
The superscription to Psalm 63 provides the author and setting: “A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.” In verse 11, David refers to himself as “the king,” so we know it wasn’t written when King Saul was pursuing him. Instead it likely was written later during the events of 2 Samuel 15 when David’s son Absalom conspired against his father to gain the throne, gathered supporters, and even enlisted David’s close friend and counselor Ahithophel (vv. 10–12). These events drove David in haste from Jerusalem into the desert (vv. 14, 23).