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Saturday, July 6, 2013
Today’s Reading | Psalm 13
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;
my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
But I trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me. (NRSV)
Have you ever been through a bad time in your life, but then on the other side of it, you felt like you understood yourself a little bit better? Maybe you had a bad breakup, but later you realized that you had learned something about what you were looking for in a mate. Maybe you took a job that didn’t work out well, but you had to go through the disappointment and frustration of that job in order to discover that something quite different was really what you were called to do.
Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann would call today’s psalm one of “reorientation.” The psalmist has gone through a time of disorientation, feeling let down, lost, and distant from God. Most of the phrases in the psalm express these negative feelings, and in the closing phrases, the psalmist expresses a renewed feeling of God’s presence. The renewed feeling is actually stronger than it was in the beginning, because the psalmist has experienced what the difficult times of life are like and knows that God is still there.
Sometimes we need reminders that mature faith isn’t about expecting life to be easy or expecting God to solve all of our problems and make us happy. When we acknowledge the difficult parts of life, cry to God in those times, and find our way back into companionship with God after feeling what it is like to be distant from God, we experience “reorientation” and renewal and come to know what it truly means that God has dealt bountifully with us.
God, help me to know that you walk with me in the good times of life and in the bad. Help me to be unafraid to cry out in sadness, anger, and pain when times are tough. Help me to remember you when the sun rises on a new day and life feels good once again. Amen.
Written by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor for Adult Education and Worship
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