Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. Psalm 116:7
“Daddy, will you read to me?” my daughter asked. It’s not an unusual question for a child to make of a parent. But my daughter is eleven now. These days, such requests are fewer than they were when she was younger. “Yes,” I said happily, and she curled up next to me on the couch.
As I read to her (from The Fellowship of the Ring), she practically melted into me. It was one of those glorious moments as a parent, when we feel perhaps just an inkling of the perfect love our Father has for us and His deep desire for us to “cuddle in” to His presence and love.
I realized in that moment that I’m a lot like my eleven-year-old. Much of the time, I’m focused on being independent. It’s so easy to lose touch with God’s love for us, a tender and protective love that Psalm 116 describes as “gracious and righteous . . . full of compassion” (v. 5). It’s a love where, like my daughter, I can curl up in God’s lap, at home in His delight for me.
Psalm 116:7 suggests that we might need to regularly remind ourselves of God’s good love, and then crawl up into His waiting arms: “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” And indeed, He has.
When was the last time you rested quietly in God’s love? What barriers, if any, might keep you from experiencing the Father’s delight for you?
Father, thank You for Your perfect love for me. Help me to remember that love and to rest in Your goodness and delight in me.
Psalm 116 is part of a collection of six psalms (Psalms 113–118) known as the “Egyptian Hallel,” so called because the element of praising God (Hebrew hālal) occurs throughout. These praise songs were sung during the Passover remembrance of the Israelites’ deliverance from Egyptian slavery: Psalms 113–114 were recited before the Passover meal and Psalms 115–118 afterward. The hymn that Jesus and the disciples sang after the Last Supper could’ve been one of these psalms (Matthew 26:30). In Psalm 116, the author thanks God for delivering him from the jaws of death (vv. 3, 8). Assured of God’s sovereignty over his life even in death, he writes, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants” (v. 15). The grateful psalmist asks: “What can I offer the Lord for all he has done for me?” (v. 12 nlt). He committed himself to “walk before the Lord” (v. 9) and to serve Him (v. 16).