Unity with God

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S (Scripture): Psalm 56

All day long [my attackers] frustrate my pursuits;

    all their thoughts are evil against me.

You yourself have kept track of my misery.

    Put my tears into your bottle—

    aren’t they on your scroll already?

O (Observation): Countless times have God’s faithful shared their fears and worries with God. And countless times, God’s people trust. God knows the fears of the author of this psalm.

For God has captured all the author’s tears…God has recorded them…stored them…

A (Application): God knows our sadness and frustrations and fears.

What if salvation was more about God knowing us, and journeying with us, rather than helping us to desire to be removed from this world?

What if salvation is God helping us to become one with God for now and eternity? After all, God knows our inmost parts and worries and fears. God counts the number of our tears. In coming to us, putting on flesh, we know that God knows our very selves.

And God knows the worst…God knows death…and has overcome that separation we experience from God. Easter is about celebrating that God is with us, even through death and hell.

What weighs you down this day? How can knowing that God counts your tears help you in your journey?

P (Prayer): Lord, keep us steadfast in you. Help us to know that you hear our suffering and cries and tears. Amen.

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Unity with God

Photo credit here

S (Scripture): Psalm 56

All day long [my attackers] frustrate my pursuits;

    all their thoughts are evil against me.

You yourself have kept track of my misery.

    Put my tears into your bottle—

    aren’t they on your scroll already?

O (Observation): Countless times have God’s faithful shared their fears and worries with God. And countless times, God’s people trust. God knows the fears of the author of this psalm.

For God has captured all the author’s tears…God has recorded them…stored them…

A (Application): God knows our sadness and frustrations and fears.

What if salvation was more about God knowing us, and journeying with us, rather than helping us to desire to be removed from this world?

What if salvation is God helping us to become one with God for now and eternity? After all, God knows our inmost parts and worries and fears. God counts the number of our tears. In coming to us, putting on flesh, we know that God knows our very selves.

And God knows the worst…God knows death…and has overcome that separation we experience from God. Easter is about celebrating that God is with us, even through death and hell.

What weighs you down this day? How can knowing that God counts your tears help you in your journey?

P (Prayer): Lord, keep us steadfast in you. Help us to know that you hear our suffering and cries and tears. Amen.

Hope in Nepal.  Trust in the Lord. 

Over these next several weeks, this blog will focus on issues that are part of my OUT connections – things going on in the world around me…in my community, nation, and world.  

 Four-month-old baby boy Sonit Awal is held up by Nepalese Army soldiers after being rescued from the rubble of his house in Bhaktapur (Amul Thapa/AP)

S (Scripture): Psalm 56:8 You keep track of my misery. Put my tears in your leather container! Are they not recorded in your scroll?

56:9 My enemies will turn back when I cry out to you for help; I know that God is on my side.

56:10 In God – I boast in his promise – in the Lord – I boast in his promise –
56:11 in God I trust, I am not afraid.

O (Observation):  Quite often, the psalmist recalls times of persecution or devastation, and renews trust in the Lord.  In this case, the psalmist is being persecuted by people around him, and is feeling distraught.  

The psalmist calls on God to hold the his tears in a leather pouch, just as a pouch holds wine.  In this way, God can recall the sorrow experienced by the psalmist.  

A (Application):  The devastation in Nepal (and surrounding areas) is unfathomable, almost a warlike devastation.   Thousands dead in Nepal, landslides in China, mountain climbers killed, injured, trapped.  

Would this natural disaster take on human characteristics, I could envision rescue workers, and local residents saying the words of the psalm above: “I boast in his promise – in God I trust, I am not afraid” in the face of this enemy – an earthquake, and its consequences. 

What gives me hope in difficult times?   Trust in the Lord…that in the end, we will work together for the good, as God plans, for God has stored up our tears.  

On the ground, in Nepal, the rescue workers rescued a 4-month old baby just days ago.   (The picture is posted above.). A sign of hope in the midst of devastation.  

Putting myself in the position of a rescue worker, I think the words of this psalm would be my comfort.  “To boast in God’s promise…to boast in the Lord…in God I trust…I am not afraid.”

These words would carry me forward and sustain me and those around me…I hope. 

May many more be rescued!  May workers be encouraged!

To help, please consider sending money for aid through ELCA Diaster Response.  100% of these funds will go to aid.   The “overhead” costs are assumed by the operating costs of the ELCA.   If you cannot send money, you can pray for relief efforts and for the health of those affected. 

P (Prayer):  Lord, focus my prayer and hope on those in the midst of disaster. And help me to act as I am called. Amen.