Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God,
“Why did you let me down?
Why am I walking around in tears,
harassed by enemies?”
They’re out for the kill, these
tormentors with their obscenities,
Taunting day after day,
“Where is this God of yours?”
Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He’s my God. (Psalm 42:9-11, MSG)
Have you ever followed the brave example of this Psalm, and said to God, Why did you let me down?
When we’re disappointed, or sad, or struggling–this question is not only okay, it’s healthy. It’s a step toward that “smile on my face” that concludes this Psalm of lament.
But we can’t get to the smile until we are willing to acknowledge the struggle. Until we are willing to admit that the flag of our soul is at half-mast, we cannot experience the joy that God gives. He comforts us in our grief, not in our denial.
We often mistakenly believe that our faith will solve all our problems. That’s simply not true. Faith just gives us someone to walk with us through those problems. It gives us God’s love and strength to face those problems, it gives us courage to endure in spite of those problems.
We are invited to lean into the comfort of God–but we must first acknowledge that we need that comfort. We must admit that sometimes, life is hard. This leads us to ask tough questions, to feel the struggle, but ultimately, choose to embrace the comfort God offers.
So if you are feeling sad, disappointed, dismayed, even depressed, try today’s presence practice. Read slowly through Psalm 42. Pray it, bit by bit. Be as honest as you can with God, and with yourself.
By the way, blogger Tim Fall wrote an excellent post titled Clues About the Blues in response to reading this chapter of Deeply Loved. Click over and check it out, along with all Tim’s other insightful writing.
Finally: Hey, it’s Friday, which means I’m giving away a book. To enter the drawing, simply:
–subscribe to this blog via the form on the right side of this page
–leave a comment below letting us know you did that.
We’ll select a winner. And this week only, you can choose which title to receive: Deeply Loved, or my book Deeper into the Word Old Testament. If we get more than 10 entries, we’ll give away both books!