Monday, May 8, 2017

Our Groanings

When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; and my soul refused to be comforted.  I remembered you, O God, and I groaned…I thought about the former days, the years of long ago… ‘Will the Lord reject forever?  Will he never show his favor again?  Has his unfailing love vanished forever?  Has his promise failed for all time?  Has God forgotten to be merciful?’ Then I thought, ‘To this I will appeal…I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will meditate on your works and consider all your mighty deeds…What god is so great as our God?  You are the God who performs miracles; you display power among the peoples.  With your mighty arm you redeemed your people…’” Psalm 77:2-15.

Today’s passage is quite lengthy but one worthy of our consideration.  Life can be so brutal and unapologetic when doling out the circumstances.  Our psalmist lays out a scenario that is not that different for us thousands of years later.  He is wide awake in anguish when he should be asleep.  His brain won’t allow him to rest due to something he is facing in his life that seems hopeless.  He even groans when he thinks about God because he is fully aware that God can save and rescue because He has in the past.  His thoughts turn to rejection and abandonment when thinking of the One who could act if He chose to but apparently was not.  He began to doubt God’s favor and promise…began to question His love and mercy.  Then the beautiful shift was made as the psalmist, in his despair, CHOSE to remember God’s intervention in the past.  He CHOSE to focus on what God has done instead of what he is waiting on God to accomplish.  He CHOSE to reminisce about the beautiful days long ago when life was sweet, prayers were answered, miracles were revealed and God was faithful.  His shift of heart turns to the future of when God will again show up and show out!

I know that as I sit and wait on my miracles, I sometimes question if I heard God wrong.  I sometimes wonder if what I’m waiting on is ‘my will be done’ instead of ‘His will be done.’ Do I groan when I remember how He saved my daughter from death, knowing He has the power to do other things for which I wait?  Do I wonder if His promise to me was just a fabricated wish list in my mind and heart?  The answer is in this passage – yes, sometimes I do consider those things if I am honest.  But, the important part is that these considerations prompt my appeal.  I deny the notion that God has failed me.  I refuse to accept that I have lost favor with God, and His mercy and love have changed for me.  I reject that God no longer works miracles in our lives and fails to redeem.  I will continue to expect rescues, deliveries, and divine miracles because there is no other god like our God. Our minds and hearts have the ability to choose what we consider, so why wouldn’t we choose the good, the loving, the hopeful and the encouraging.  Why would we choose to wallow in doom, hopelessness and timidity when we are sons and daughters of the King who is just as much on the throne today as He was in the Bible.  He is still King and the tomb is still empty!

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you may live and your children.” De 30:19.

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