Psalm 44 (Psalms on the Trail)

Psalm 44:5

Through you we pushed by our adversaries;

through your name we trampled on those who rose up against us.”  Psalm 44:5

Yes, you see it right: this is a privy near a shelter on the AT.  Yes, that’s mildew on the toilet seat.  Yes, there is no door.  Looks luxurious, right?  Here’s the point, however: it is the complaining about the privy that was my “adversary.”   Complaining on the trail would frequently “rise up.”  Complaining is why I took the photo in the first place.  But just as the psalmist knew his people needed God’s help, I was also learning how much I needed God’s help to stop grousing about what I didn’t have, because complaining blinds me to what is really a gift.  Did you know that under the toilet seat is a composting box to recycle human waste?  That in those yellow buckets is a mixture of leaf litter, one scoopful of which after every use aids the composting process?  That actually having no door allows one to enjoy the antics of squirrels?  That the openness allows a clean smelling breeze to blow through and prevents privy claustrophobia?  And that volunteers lugged the lumber up into this Bear Wilderness in order to build this facility?  So this morning as I chuckle over this photo and my encounter with this privy, I ask God to help me notice what things I have been complaining about in the last day or two.  Is there some gift in the situation I am missing?


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  What gift has complaining has kept you from seeing?

2. Or read all of Psalm 44 to discover how this verse fits into the psalm or to discover a different verse.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that illustrates this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s verse:  Psalm 45: 1

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.