I usually think of sunflowers as happy flowers, probably because of their bright large blossoms being a sunny yellow. It is commonly thought that this flower turns its head to follow the sun. But obviously, these sunflowers are looking down and all they see is the ground. Being that this photo was taken while skies were darkened with smoke from the Oregon fires, it is understandable that their heads just look down.
Today’s verse comes from a psalm called a “Maskil of David.” A maskil is translated as enlightened or wise. David is imparting something that is especially wise in the face of discouragement and depression. He addresses his soul which he recognizes is disturbed. Regardless of his difficult circumstances, David chooses to turn his gaze to the Lord. Rather than focusing on his problems or giving in to despair, the psalmist reminds himself of the hope he has in God. Because of that hope, he could look forward to a future where praise for God would come again to his lips.
I have that choice as well. I can be “downcast” and look at the ground, seeing only what is depressingly negative, or I can lift my gaze to the only One who can lift my soul. Placing my hope in God changes everything. His love and faithfulness need to be squarely in my view. Remembering His promises and His loving control give me that hope. This focus keeps me praising Him, not because of my circumstances but despite them! And I know that one day, circumstances will change and my praise will continue into eternity!
Thank you Lord, for lifting my soul!