OK, I’ve got to admit that I literally just opened the Bible today, and took the first passage that I saw. OK, I’ll admit that I do often do that, but I will try to read around a little, and find a passage that I am quite familiar with, or that I have read recently. Ultimately, I guess it’s all Bible,right?
Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD;
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
If You, LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord,More than those who wait for the morning-Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,For with the LORD there is mercy,
and with Him is abundant redemption.And He shall redeem Israel From all his iniquities.
Analysis added Sunday 5 June 2011
It’s funny, looking at the passage above, I just plucked it at random when I was initially writing a Sunday note about it. However now that it is time to write an analysis of it, it seems so timely! At the moment, it feels as if I am indeed crying out to God from the depths of my heart, and from the depths of different emotions, hoping, trusting that He will hear, and answer positively.
This I know, is how generations of God’s people have had to stand firm, but I guess each person asks themselves the questions afresh. I must really admire David, or whoever it was who wrote this Psalm, because he always came back to praise God lavishly, no matter the confusion or the pain that he may have expressed in the earlier part of the Psalm.
These are the questions that I ask myself: “God, if You are so big, (and I know of course that You are!); if You are so powerful, then why am I going through these things? Why me, God, of all people?! Let’s face it, I give one thousand per cent. I am ultra committed. I have given You my whole life. I loudly shout Your praise endlessly from day to day! Is there something I am doing wrong? Do I need to pray harder? Differently? I am kinda confused… OK, let me pray harder!” So yeah, these are the questions that generations of God’s people must, I imagine, have asked themselves from day to day. Perhaps the issue with me is that I am a very rational person, or so I like to think. Perhaps other people are naturally champions of faith, but I like to think that my faith makes sense. I look at situations in my life, and I think – “well if God can do it, and He delights to bless us – then why doesn’t He?! Why do I have to keep going on about this incessantly? God, where’s my breakthrough? And while we’re at it, where’s my husband?! ”
However, it’s quite interesting to see that these very same attitudes are reflected in the Bible (what can I say, I associate with the greats!) In so many situations, God’s people were seemingly pushed to the brink. Many times as recorded in the Bible, they asked God where He was, or why He was not acting more visibly in their situations. Jesus Himself asked this question – “God, can You not find another way? Why do I have to go through this?” Remembering that Jesus Himself went through this gives me hope, and makes me remember that God is indeed working through different situations. My issues are not unique, my struggles are not unique, my questions have already been asked countless times, by people who wonder how the power of the God of the Bible squares with the challenges that they are facing. Also looking to Jesus makes me remember that even though God could erase my issues in one stroke, as He could have done with what Jesus faced, He sometimes chooses to bring us through these issues, rather than to remove them altogether. I don’t know why, I don’t “get it”, I just have to choose to remember that whatever happens, God is still God, He is still there.
What is more, in the Bible God promises us trials and tribulations – great! I would love to pray these away, and I certainly try my hardest to do this. However, every now and then, one manages to slip through, and sometimes all the prayer I can pray does not seem to make the slightest difference. V5 says “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope”. Sometimes, no matter how many times God has delivered me in the past, I have to ask myself whether He will still deliver me this time. I guess ultimately, no matter how hard any particular situation might seem, I have to remember that confusion and pain are part of the Christian experience down here on earth, and that this is what we must endure until we too, like Jesus, get to the joy of eternal life promised to us by God, and where God’s magnificent purpose will finally have been worked out in our lives.
…..v7: Hope in the LORD;
For with the LORD there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a crowd of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Photo of dolphin by Hans on Pixabay