Saturday, May 23, 2009

Devotions: He Doesn`t Care and It`s His Fault

I have to reserve Romans for the weekdays as I am walking through this with my students. So as I considered what to share with you this morning Psalm 39 came to mind. Never believing in coincidences I took a quick look. This is the Psalm that speaks to people such as me.

Why are we afraid to complain to our Father? Why are we afraid to express our thoughts and our feelings on the circumstances and seemingly injustices of life? Consider the words of the Psalmist and ask yourself if this has been your experience:

I said, "I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
as long as the wicked are in my presence."

But when I was silent and still,
not even saying anything good,
my anguish increased.

My heart grew hot within me,
and as I meditated, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue: vv 1-3

Have you ever been in this place where you feel that it is better just to keep things to yourself? This may be a good decision in some circumstances with people in your life but it is never good with things between you and the Father. Hiding your feelings, not speaking your complaint, keeping your resentment to yourself only causes distance; it never allows for a progressing relationship.

The Psalmist describes his resentment for his circumstances as a hot anger and a fire burning within him. This is the result of living behind a facade, of unspoken resentment and pain. How many people do you know that did not express their real pain to Father, carried on as they thought they were expected to do and finally arrived to the point where all their unexpressed emotions separated them from the only one who could bring them relief.

When will we grow up and realize that Father is not a heartless being sitting in a distant place, determining our future for us? He is a real Dad who wants to be as involved in our lives as we want to be involved in our own children's lives. We want them to express everything to us so we can help them walk through this life. How do we feel when they close us out? Then understand Father.

Look at how this psalm ends:

"Hear my prayer, O LORD,
listen to my cry for help;
be not deaf to my weeping.
For I dwell with you as an alien,
a stranger, as all my fathers were.

Look away from me, that I may rejoice again
before I depart and am no more." vv. 12-13

This is one of those awkward psalms that does not end in a conclusion. The psalmist has opened his mouth and laid out his complaint against God. He says, "You have done this to me." It is a personal expression of hurt. He is saying. hear me; listen to me; be not deaf. To what? To his prayer, to his cry for help, to his weeping. And his final request? That he would be allowed to experience one more moment of joy before he dies. Have you ever been there? Don't we blame Father as well? "If you allow things to take place then I am holding you accountable for what has happened to me." "It is your fault." "You could have presented this." "You could have stopped this from happening.``

Our God is not some china glass idol who can't do anything in response to us because we created him. No, our God is the Creator. He is our Father and is the Father of all things. He is a "roll up the sleeves and get in the mud with us" dad who waits to be invited to be part of our mess. He does not stand on ceremony. He does not require sacrifices. He does not require certain words to be spoken. He wants us to confess our pain to him so he can get involved in it. He waits to be asked because he respects us that much.

So lay out your complaints, your pain and your hurt so that you can make room for the love that will flow from his response. It may take a bit of time as he helps you let go of the resentment and other things we tend to hold on to. Invite him to help you. Ask him to listen to your plea. Ask him to allow you to experience joy again. Trust that Father really loves you, because he does.

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