Thursday, January 29, 2015

God of my life

By day the LORD commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 42:8

I find the forty-second psalm to be one of the richest spiritual sources for personal reflection in all of scripture. It grabs my attention in my intense life moments... just like right now. It is the cry of a thirsty heart, wounded, wondering, yet eager to see God. There is a fervent desire for God throughout this song, beginning in Psalm 42:1-2. But there is a deep pain as well. The longing for God is coming from tears of sorrow (Psalm 42:3-4). Yet even in the pain, the hope of the worship of God provides perspective (Psalm 42:4, 8, 11).

There is a refrain repeated twice in the Psalm... first halfway through and again at the very end. It is a consoling choice for self-talk that acknowledges life's pains, but still chooses hope (Psalm 42:5, 11). "Why are you cast down, o my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God..." The psalmist wills himself to consider hope even as he also wonders if God even sees his suffering (42:9-10). By faith comfort is found in choosing hope and love for God despite feeling as if God is absent.

I acknowledge I need the strength and comfort that this song brings me right now. I pray to the "God of my life". The culture around me is increasingly apathetic, growing in antagonism against the truth of God. And in my hardest, painful moments, I sometimes feel as if God is absent. I feel foolish for believing. But the word to describe what is happening is feel. It is a feeling. It is not my soul's reality. It is a feeling. So is nausea. And nausea signals that I am sick. After nausea empties my gut, I get better and life goes on. After the feeling of God's absence is released, a cool fact that calms my soul can enter in. It is the reality that I know God is the God of my life. I have no reason to doubt His love and leading. I have 90 devotional journals penned in my own hand from my teenage years onward that record my reflections upon His Word and His work in my simple, average life. God may seem elusive at times, yet He is always showing His faithful love, as dear to me as a song that cheers my soul in the darkest night.

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