S (Scripture): Psalm 44
So we glory in God at all times
and give thanks to your name forever. Selah
But now you’ve rejected and humiliated us.
You no longer accompany our armies.
You make us retreat from the enemy;
our adversaries plunder us.
You’ve handed us over like sheep for butchering;
you’ve scattered us among the nations.
O (Observation): How fickle the psalmist is. One line, praising God (v. 8); the next, calling out God for rejecting the psalmist and the rest of God’s people (vv. 9-11).
A (Application): How frustrating. Yesterday I was praising God for being with God’s people. Yay, God! Now…what? Cursing God for not being on “our” side?
So…when in times of prospering, God is on our side… And in times of desolation and fear, God is not on our side… Does that sum it all up?
Yes. But that doesn’t make sense.
Apply that to a third world country. Is God not on the side of the starving and the poor? Is God not for the oppressed being set free?
The theology of the psalms is much less about what God is doing or “not” doing, but is much more about the human struggle with providence. Some days, we can truly sense that God is doing good and overseeing us. Some days, God seems almost absent. The struggle is to identify that God can and does work with us through all of the confidence and all of the doubt…through our “wins and losses.”
So, what can we do?
We will trust. We will trust that God will guide us. We will lean on one another in difficult times so that we can begin to identify where God is. And if we can’t sense God, we will stand together…serving and praying and giving until we realize that we are God on earth. That all this time we were looking “up” for God…when God was always around us…that God is us when we serve and pray and give.
The Spirit calls us together…equips us…that we might be God on earth. So maybe we will realize that the times we don’t see God are the times we aren’t serving, praying, giving. For in these acts of discipleship…we are indeed God’s hands and feet on this good earth.
P (Prayer): Lord, let me be a servant of your peace. Amen.