The Psalms are the sample journal – the diary example – from the Bible… honest and full of encouragement to just be REAL. Sometimes they sound like teenage angst. Sometimes they are full of wisdom and perspective. The Bible says that David (most likely the author of the Psalms) was a “man after God’s own heart.” Well, what the Psalms teach me then is that the Creator of the Universe’s heart is BIG and Honest and Complicated.


“God, make a fresh start in me,

shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.

Don’t throw me out with the trash,

or fail to breathe holiness in me.

Bring me back from gray exile,

put a fresh wind in my sails!”
–Psalm 51


”A Genesis week from the chaos of my life.”

I can have a Genesis week from the chaos of my life?

Almost every day I wonder…

What if this whole God / Jesus story is really true?

Because it truly takes faith to believe in Jesus when life goes upside down.

***** ***** ***** *****

We are all on a roller coaster called Life, but some of us are not buckled up.  Are you?

Have you ever had the roller coaster nightmare? The one where the roller coaster starts clicking up the steep hill but your safety harness doesn’t work? It’s loose or totally broken and you know you are about to die – you know you are about to fall to your death on the sidewalk, or worse, on the tracks, or worse, on the ice cream cart and children below.

You hold onto the harness as best you can, linking your arm in and through the bars, muscles already shaking, knowing full-well that only your feeble hands might save you now. And your grip is not going to be enough…


I kinda feel like that in my life right now. Do you ever feel like this? Feel like life is just not safe and you’re about to be thrown?

(And, can I be honest? Can I let my complexity show?… )

My safety-harness-Jesus is broken. I no longer push up on the bars and feel the familiar, reassuring, locked push-back. I push up on my harness and it moves freely. Jesus is giving me too much space. I wish I could pull Him tighter.  I cannot hold on tight enough and I know I won’t make it through the ride. I am going to fall to an ugly, newspaper-headline-worthy, chaotic demise.

Jesus is no longer my safety harness; keeping me firmly in my seat until the ride comes to a full and complete stop.


And yet, this Psalm…

This psalm keeps telling me it’s going to be okay even if I lose my grip.

We are all going to be okay.


This Psalm somehow makes it sound like we are safe; that the gravitational pull of God is stronger than any of our fears or struggles or emergencies. He is stronger than the free falls. Stronger than the loops. Stronger than the hairpin turns.  He is stronger and He is Good.

From the chaos of life, we can pray for a Genesis week.

.i love this idea.

.a Genesis week from the chaos of life.


What is a Genesis week?


The creation of good things from the chaos of our personal roller coasters.

 “God looked over everything he had made;

it was so good, so very good!”

From the chaos and void and emptiness of infinite nothing, God made everything. Out of love.

God is not about to let a technical malfunction or a scary free fall ruin a good thing. 
Good Creation began against all odds and will continue against all odds in our own lives.


In this Psalm, number 51, King David is working out the chaos of his life after committing a couple of the worst mistakes a person can make: adultery and a murderous cover-up. And yet, he has the audacity to pray that God make a Genesis week of his life? Put wind back in his sails?

This is what it looks like to be a person after God’s heart, I suppose.  The Bible describes King David as, “a man after God’s own heart.” In the face of disappointment in yourself, complete and total chaos, and sheer terror about what to do next… At the moments you are surely going to fall out of the ride and your own strength will not save you … we are invited to pray for New Good Things from a God who still cares.

I know I, for one, continue to focus on the harness not the hope.  The last few months have been full of freaking out about my unsafe harness. “The harness is not tight enough. The harness is broken. I don’t feel safe.”  I’m still dragging around feeling frustrated and sorry for myself that my house is a mess and I didn’t accomplish enough at work today – I’m not really asking God to make all kinds of beautiful creations from my chaos.  I’m demanding safety checks instead of enjoying the ride.


Faith. Hope. Love.

At the moment we fear we will be “thrown out with the trash” or thrown from the roller coaster … THIS is the exact moment we get to cling to God — or more correctly — God shows how He’s the one holding onto us.

Faith. Hope. Love.

If this whole Jesus story is actually true… if the Psalms are to be trusted… then there may really, truly be nothing to fear.  If your harness is broken; if Jesus does not feel close or click into place for you right now, you will still be okay.  Jesus is not always a locked safety harness (sometimes He can be, and when He is enjoy the HECK out of that).

Jesus is always a daring Love artist and the gravity of His Love pulls us closer to Him even as we ride the roller coaster – eyes full of tears and lungs burning.


Prayer: Lord, I want to see the world from your perspective: always safe, always free, always hopeful. Thank you for the ride that is my life and thank you for being stronger than all the free falls and loops I’ll ever experience. You are my love artist. Please bring the full force of your gravity to my life so that you are the strongest pull I ever know. Amen.


This post is part of a linkup at Everyday Awe going through the book of Psalms – one every week.
A bunch of us are reflecting on Psalm 51.