Psalm 42:1 As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, "Where is your God?" 4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the throng, and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help 6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts; all your waves and your billows have gone over me. 8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I say to God, my rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?" 10 As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, "Where is your God?" 11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.
A newer version of the Bible, The Message, has the psalmist saying, "I'm on a diet of tears - tears for breakfast, tears for supper. All day long people knock at my door, Pestering, 'Where is this God of yours?'" Either we have been there or close to there; days where sadness takes over our lives and we find ourselves thinking that God has abandoned us. The great thing about the psalmist was that he knew he had been the one to allow this to happen to him, thus the first line - he must be like the deer seeking "flowing streams" because in finding God would be where he would find the power to uplift his spirit. Yes, it can happen on a Monday; the thought of getting back to the routine (or rut) of everyday life, the challenges that were out of mind on Friday come back to needing fulfillment, etc. It is easy to get the blues, even after a great weekend of worship and praise.
The "fix" or cure is to set our eyes on God again, and God will bring smiles to our faces and praises to our lips; in everything and everyday, our lives should be about seeking and praising God. A dear member of one of my churches died this past Saturday. She had liver cancer and being the widow of a serviceman, she received treatment at Brooks Army Medical Center. Her son shared with me how even undergoing treatment for this terminal disease, she made it a point to know her neighbors and visit them and share how God had blessed her life and how she was changed because of the love of God. Dinorah Cloyd was an artist, who used her talent of painting to share beauty and hope with so many. She had gone from painting canvases to note cards to bookmarks, that she used to share with other patients. The doctors and nurses gave witness to her life and compared her to Ghandi; she loved others because she loved God and she knew God loved her. When she was released to go home it took several minutes because so many wanted to thank her again for her visits and sharing of her faith, which gave many of them hope.(Please pray for the Cloyd family, including Rev. Carlos Cloyd, her son and her two daughters.)
What witness do we have about our God? Do we let the geography get to us, the lows of valleys and highs of mountains? Do we let the "whitewater rapids," and "breaking surf" crash and crush us? The answer should be no. These are but temporal things, the big picture of faith says, God is still in control and God is still worthy of our praise!
Let God dry the tears and let us turn to God so that we can give witness to the living God, the God of hope and life.
PRAYER: Loving God of life, we ask for your blessings on those whom we have not yet blessed. We ask for comfort for those who are on a diet of tears. Comfort them and give them hope and let us have from You the words that we can share with others. Whatever need I may have, I turn over to You for your blessing and protection, and all this I pray in the name of Christ Jesus, my Lord and Savior, amen.
Have a great and blessed day in the Lord!
Personal Privilege: Happy Birthday to my wife, Nellie. She is my biggest fan and devoted reader of ConCafe since day one. May God bless her with many more, because I need her!