Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Why Me, O Lord?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart!  Wake up, lyre and harp!  I will wake the dawn with my song.  I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.  I will sing your praises among the nations.  For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.  Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.  Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.  May your glory shine over all the earth.   Psalm 108:1-5(NLT)
O God, whom I praise, don’t stand silent and aloof while the wicked slander me and tell lies about me.  They surround me with hateful words and fight against me for no reason.  I love them, but they try to destroy me with accusations even as I am praying for them!  They repay evil for good, and hatred for my love.  Psalm 109:1-5(NLT)

When you read Psalms 108 and 109 it is hard to miss the stark difference in the attitude of the Psalmist.  He begins the first with confidence and happy plans to honor God in the community.  By the time he gets to the second a lot has happened, and he starts praying for children to be orphaned and pain to be spread around to his enemies.

It is almost as if the servant of God wakes up on Monday and proclaims his love for God and how he plans with an eager heart to serve and bless God.  By Monday afternoon it’s obvious God is just sitting back, letting the human drama unfold…evil for good, blood for kindness. 

Can a guy get a little help here?

In the Book of Common Prayer[2] this morning’s Psalms are accompanied by this prayer:

Shape our lives by the mystery of Christ crucified, risen and interceding for us:  In your mercy, Lord, hear us.
Lord, you trouble our peace, you step upon our guarded shore and confront our chaos:  may we who are divided and colonized by the forces of death learn from you to speak our own name and proclaim your works of life; through Jesus Christ, the Life and Light of the world. Amen.

This picture of God setting foot on my guarded shore and confront(ing) our chaos is what happened between Psalm 108 and 109; we guard the shore of our sacred plans for God, and it takes God invading that sacred space to show us the chaos which we think is such a neat, winning game plan.  God messes with our plans and suddenly our whole outlook is paranoia and fear.

But this is how we grow; this is how we are conformed to the image of Christ, shaped by His mystery, and changed from glory into glory.

So…if you’ve ever made plans to serve Him, do you recall how the opposition and troubles came, and you felt isolated, abandoned and picked-on by just about everyone? 

That was Him!

It’s called discipleship, this moving from the joy of commitment in Psalm 108 to the pain of opposition in the heat of battle.

For You Today

Trouble isn’t a new thing; God uses it to make mature saints who will endure, persevere, and learn. 

Going through Psalm 109 today?  Rejoice!  Your heavenly Father is up to something.

You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…have a blessed day!


[1] Title Image: By Scot Campbell from Charlotte, NC, USA, via Wikimedia Commons
[2] Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, © The Archbishops Council, 2000.

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