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According to Us

One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

Seems like the end of the school year is so busy. One of the traditions that I like are the class pictures. It is a right of passage in elementary school to have that keep sake of your friends and classmates all together. As a mom, I appreciate being able to put faces to the names I have heard all year. One name/face in particular I was glad to place together from Sweet T.’s class.

Lillian K. Bittle

When the weather started warming up in the afternoons, Sweet T. loved to roll down her window in the car on the ride home. She loved to roll it down and shout “Curse you Lillian K. Bittle.” She wouldn’t say it just once and not even in the same way. The entire ride home she would shout out her window over and over and in different pitches.

Curse you, Lillian K Bittle

Curse you, Lillian K Bittle

Curse you, Lillian K Bittle

Curse you, Lillian K Bittle

Curse you, Lillian K Bittle

Curse you, Lillian K Bittle

She would make me laugh. Oh sure, I tried to talk to her about what cursing someone really meant. She would always assure me that she was being silly. She even told her friend about it. Lillian has a kindred spirit. She thought it was funny too.

Sometimes, in life, it seems like someone is cursing my life away- but not in the fun, teasing way that Sweet T. meant it. I’m sure everyone, at some point, has felt the sting. You know the feeling, that no matter what great effort you go to, there is that one person who despises everything you do. At least it feels like they do. Maybe they even actually do call out curses to you.

I think that is why I love the Psalms so much. They relate to life on a real and honest way. On many occasions the writers (more often than not it was King David) would mention the angst that they felt. The daily grind scraping away at my life. They knew that they were being cursed.

O Lord, how many are my foes!

How many rise up against me!

Many are saying of me,

“God will not deliver him.” (Psalm 3:1-2)

Do you hear it? “Curse you Lillian K Bittle.” I can even see David’s enemies shaking their fist at him as they shout out. On several occasions David’s enemies were people he trusted and knew quite well. This particular account, the person yelling out curses on him was his own son, Absalom. I suppose to call them an “enemy” is not exactly accurate. Although, yes they wanted to see David suffer. Yes, they wanted him to die. Yes, they probably even disliked him; I wonder if David really considered his own son an “enemy”.

Later in the Psalm David prays this over those who bid him harm,

Arise, O Lord!

Deliver me, O my God!

Strike all my enemies on the jaw;

break the teeth of the wicked.” Psalm 3:7

Not exactly the kind of prayer I would recommend, but I love it! David is being honest about his feelings. He isn’t wearing a facade of holiness and perfection. He is not happy about his circumstance. In fact, he is miserable, angry, sad, defeated, broken, weak, fearful, and frustrated. That’s just scratching the surface.

Of course this is one of those rare times that we actually know more about the story behind this Psalm. What we see when we read 2 Samuel 15-19 is that David never acts out of his feelings. He never wants to hurt his son. He even warns his army to not harm Absalom. I don’t think it is because the enemy happened to be his son (although- that is part of the reason.) When King Saul was chasing David down, David had many opportunities to kill Saul. He was the rightful heir to the throne. Instead he choose to protect the king’s life. Instead of allowing the curses to seep into his own heart and destroy him, he turned it over and reacted in the opposite way.

I think the reason David never acts out from his feelings is because of what we see in the real heart of Psalm 3:

BUT YOU are a shield around me, O Lord;

YOU bestow glory on me

(YOU) lift up my head.

To the Lord I cry aloud,

AND HE ANSWERS ME FROM HIS HOLY HILL.” Psalm 3:3-4

David knew that his enemy (whoever that enemy seems to be) was nothing. Nothing David could say or do would keep him from feeling cursed. It was only in knowing God that David would feel “uncursed”. God is the shield that protects us from the cursing of others. God is the one who pours out glory when we feel cursing. And it is God who picks up our heads in the midst of our sorrow or shame and speaks love to the innermost beings of our soul. He answers us with promises that HIS love is unchanging. He answers back.

When David comes to this realization, his perspective changes. Instead of fear, anger, hurt, pain, suffering, shame (and so on), David finds rest.

“I lie down and sleep; No more sleepless nights from worrying

I awake again, because the Lord sustains me He doesn’t have to fear death. Sustains literally means “holds”

I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side Our circumstances may not change, but our outlook can.” Psalm 3:5-6


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