Bad Stuff, Deep Trust – Reflection on Psalm 56

Psalm 56:1-13

Stuff Happens

Bad things happen. How do you respond? What do you do when life doesn’t work out the way you want? What’s your reaction when someone actively seeks your destruction? Perhaps destruction is too strong of a word. Maybe somebody tries to destroy your reputation, limit your opportunities, or steal your thunder. What do you do? Where do you turn?

Life doesn’t always go as planned. Stuff happens. Sometimes bad stuff happens. You find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time or end up a victim of circumstances beyond your control. What’s your response?
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Disturbed and Downcast

Psalm 42

Disturbed

Twice the Psalmist asks, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?”

Can you identify? Something’s wrong, deep within. Perhaps, like the psalmist, we can’t figure out what’s wrong. The psalmist asks his soul for answers, but gets none.

Maybe we all have these experiences. Life comes at us hard and fast dragging us down to the depths of despair. When we come up for air we realize, something isn’t quite right.

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Silence of Unanswered Prayer: Reflection on Psalm 40

Waiting For Who Knows What

I don’t like to wait. I’ll admit it. I attempt to find the shortest and quickest lines, the fastest routes, and the quickest recipes, trying to avoid waiting as much as possible. I even avoid those situations where I know I will have to wait!

My aversion doesn’t seem to influence God. I’m not sure that God cares how I feel about waiting. This Psalm reminds me that if I want to be in sync with God, I will have to embrace waiting.
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How Long O Lord? – Reflection on Psalm 35

Psalm 35:17 – “How long, O Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my life from the lions!”

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“I thought they were our friends,” she whispered quietly to her husband. “I know…” he responded, trying to comprehend where the relationship had gone sour.

“We were in their wedding and they were in ours! When Steve was in the hospital, you went and visited him every single day…” she continued lamenting all the times they had been there, good times and bad. The whole situation didn’t make any sense. They felt betrayed and attacked.

“I know dear,” gently trying to affirm her. “I dont’ understand either. They are angry at us for no reason at all…”

How Long Lord?

Maybe you’ve dealt with a relationship or situation where all you could pray was, “How long O Lord…” I don’t know exactly what David was facing, but from verses 11-14 and also 20-21 we learn that he was being attacked and wasn’t even sure why.

Some of the attackers may have had a relationship with David. David seems bewildered because those whom he fasted for, prayed for, and mourned over were now rejoicing that he stumbles and falls and looking for ways to trap him for no reason.

Overwhelmed

Both a prayer and a lament, David makes at least three requests; that God would fight on his behalf, his enemies would not be able to rejoice over his downfall, and that God would be his defense. David seems overwhelmed by his situation as he prays, “How long will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my life from the lions.”

Perhaps you know, probably too well, how it feels to wonder “how long Lord.” If you, like David, have ever asked God how long he was going to “look on” seemingly quiet, you are in good company. Perhaps while being attacked for no reason you have wondered, “how long Lord.” Maybe you have a dream, or desire, but life isn’t working out the way you want or hope, so you tearfully pray, “How Long O Lord…”

When we wonder why heaven is silent and we feel left on our own, the situation can be tough. Our eyes get clouded over with our pain, frustration, and disappointment, unable to see God’s presence. David, facing real enemies who wanted to do him harm and see him fail, cried out as he waited lamenting and wondering how long he would have to wait.

Better Days

Yet, David knew better days were ahead because of God’s faithfulness and looked forward to when those who desired his vindication would have great joy and “continually say, ‘Great is the Lord, who delights in blessing his servant with peace!’” David knew then, he would one day tell of God’s righteousness and of God’s praise all day long.

Few of us like to wait, yet, God is faithful. God may not be on our timetable, and we may not understand why we are waiting, or that we have to wait, but know this; better days are ahead. We may never understand, but trust doesn’t need understanding, trust only needs to know that the One we trust will see us through and loves us beyond belief.

While you wait, may you experience the presence of God. And may that be enough.