In the hazy mists between waking and dreaming, I finally woke up this morning with the words, ‘lifter of my head’ churning around in my mind. Still dozy with sleep, I was aware that it was part of a song I had learnt as a teenager, but I could not quite recall all the words. What I did know was that the words came from the Bible and that the song was a rendition of a few verses from the good book.
I always try to spend a little quiet time with the Lord in the morning before physically rising for work. I therefore reached out for my King James and looked up the concordance for the word, ‘lifter’. There it was in Psalms 3:3-4: ‘But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. / I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill.’ Straight away, I remembered the simple, but very catchy tune that went with these words, and you can hear it here.
Over the past few days, weeks and months, I have been growing more and more concerned about the economic implications for our business as a Bed and Breakfast. In particular, during the last couple of days, I have felt a little like David in the Bible. I have questioned the Lord, asked Him for help, trusted in His goodness, and then run dry of words to persist in prayer. However, I know that He hears me, and despite all appearances to the contrary, He will answer my prayers. Moreover, I know that ‘in the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.’ (Romans 8:26) Now, isn’t that encouraging?
I felt good this morning when I woke up. The dreamy memory of an old song – ‘My glory and the lifter of my head’ – gave me confidence that God is on my side. Only He knows how troubled I am by the current economic downturn and its effects on this country. Close by us are a couple of very busy, well-known and reputable hotels which have gone into administration. Who will be next?
In an effort to understand more deeply the Bible verses that had so encouraged me this morning, I looked at some commentaries on this verse which can be found here. A couple of the commentaries explain what it means by ‘lifter of my head’ in a way which really made sense to me: ‘Though I hang my head in sorrow, I shall very soon lift it up in joy and thanksgiving. What a divine trio of mercies is contained in this verse! – defence for the defenceless, glory for the despised, and joy for the comfortless’; ‘And he is the lifter up of the heads of his people in conversion, when he raises them from a low estate, and sets them among princes to inherit the throne of glory; and when he gives them comfort, peace, and joy, which causes them to lift up their heads; whereas in sorrow, and mourning, and distress, the head is bowed down like a bulrush.’
I think that one could easily apply the essence of Psalm 3:3-4 to the Easter message – the coming of our Lord and Saviour to save us all from our sins and to offer us eternal life when He defeated death through His resurrection. When we lift our hearts and heads up to Him, we also accept His gift of salvation and His pledge to look after us all the days of our lives, here on this earth and forever. And when once we have taken that step of commitment, then our lives will be entwined with His: for once we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, He will send the Spirit to live within us, to guide us and to help us. Now, that is encouragement indeed, especially when one is feeling out of sorts!