S (Scripture): Psalm 89
How long will it last, Lord?
Will you hide yourself forever?
How long will your wrath burn like fire?
Remember how short my life is!
Have you created humans for no good reason?
Who lives their life without seeing death?
Who is ever rescued from the grip of the grave?Selah
Where now are your loving acts
from long ago, my Lord—
the same ones you promised to David
by your own faithfulness?
Remember your servant’s abuse, my Lord!
Remember how I bear in my heart
all the insults of the nations,
the ones your enemies, Lord, use—
the ones they use to abuse
every step your anointed one takes.
Bless the Lord forever!
Amen and Amen!
O (Observation): Well…things don’t seem to be going so well for this psalmist. Like the world’s falling apart around him or her. This one seems troubled, as if the world is crashing down around them. And this trouble is about being conquered by a neighboring nation.
I almost hear an assumption that a life in God is meant to be without suffering or pain…and yet, here is pain and suffering.
A (Application): Juggling with work or purpose can tear us apart. If we are working, and we can’t quite find what we need…we can feel the weight, the burdens of this life. Pressure. Steady, unrelenting pressure.
We must produce! That is the mantra we Americans live by. We show our worth by what we produce in the next paycheck.
Yet, when the paycheck doesn’t come. When the child gets sick. When the parent’s dementia worsens. When we lose a loved one. We can feel defeated…just as the psalmist feels defeated.
Because we can’t see God through the pain and suffering.
But in those moments – however great or small – realize this: God is with you. God is not causing the pain or suffering, but God is with you.
God is with you through inspirational moments – like a ray of light shining through the clouds. Like a thought that inspires you to try something new. Like a new relationship that will guide you into a new connection for potential employment. Like a friend who knows a friend who has a job opening. Like a choppy sea that has been calmed.
We can and we will doubt along the way, but God will not doubt. Nor will God leave you. Even in the midst of your great pain. Allow God to bear the pain with you. And your burden will be light.
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to see you. Help us to reach out our hands and welcome the gifts that you bring us: time, grace, vision. Surround us with your peace. Amen.