Friday, August 10, 2018

There's Always Something

Do not let the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me.
Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
Ps 69:15-16
❧  Sometimes the psalmist describes a situation which is beyond my ken. Here we have David saying that he's being threatened with annihilation—and since David fought verified wars against flesh-and-blood enemies, I have to believe the threat is real. I suppose I can only relate to Psalm 69 in a figurative sense.

But as shallow as my comparison may seem, I can, in fact, relate to it. For in this era of constant communication and easy contact, I encounter people every day who feel like they're on the verge of being swept away in a flood or who feel they're sinking fast. Heck, I feel like that sometimes.

  • A checking account may be empty, but a person has caught up and is feeling relief... then a bill they didn't even know about comes due or an accident happens or the refrigerator stops working. 
  • Or everything is going along swimmingly, when a test comes back, throwing the state of one's health into question. 
  • Or a relationship goes from bad to much, much worse. 
  • Or even if something's not happening to me, I can no longer hide from the constant bad news. It's everywhere: newspaper headlines, television, on my computer screen... and it now even comes at me on my phone.
There's always something, some little death of hope, that makes me or somebody I love feel overwhelmed. And then, like the psalmist, we go to God with our troubles, laying claim to God's abiding love and plentiful forgiveness. The problem is, sometimes, the problems seem more real than our prayerful words—more real, even, than a God we cannot see.

It helps me, at least, to meditate on the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: "But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today."
Matt. 6:33-34

I am overwhelmed, O God. Help me to listen above my own worried voice to hear the One who invited me not to dwell in the past or live for tomorrow, but to receive each day—each moment—as a gift, even Jesus Christ my Lord, in whose Name I pray the prayer that he taught me...

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