Monday, August 29, 2011


Psalm 42

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
   so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
   When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
   day and night,

while people say to me all day long,
   "Where is your God?"
4 These things I remember
   as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
   under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
   among the festive throng.
 5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
   Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God.
 6 My soul is downcast within me;
   therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
   the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
   in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
   have swept over me.
 8 By day the LORD directs his love,
   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 go about mourning,
   oppressed by the enemy?"
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
   as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
   "Where is your God?"
 11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
   Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God.
ABC News had a feel-good piece about a bird that survived Hurricane Irene. It seems that this particular bird was electronically tagged to they could keep track of its migration. The bird had started to head south for winter when it ran right into Irene. The scientists were hoping the bird would not fly directly into the eye of the storm. It did. A couple of days later, however, the bird turns up in the Bahamas. "Hey, guys, I'm fine and chillin'" reads the postcard.

Contrary to popular TV religious folks, some days blind-side us and just plain suck. If we pray all the time and if we do all the right things (okay, we don't but bear with me,) we are not spared suffering. Same was true for God's Son. God's story seems more one of keeping track of us through suffering and working through us to persevere if not to thrive in tough times. Suffering is always the penultimate. Resurrection is the ultimate. No matter how fast and how bad things come, hold onto the postcards, God has the last say.

This is not to say suffering is good or that God does not answer prayers. It is to say that suffering is inevitable and God does not lose track of us. We are precious. Period.

If you are in the middle of a storm, God is there. I hope the Church is as well. Me, too. If you are stormless today, be there for your stormy friends.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Matthew 28:18

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