Friday, April 25, 2008

Psalm 6

What a great psalm. It's psalms like this that make me read the Bible.

I love the imagery in this psalm about the emotional consequnces of sin. The psalmist says, "my bones are in agony" and "[I] drench my couch with tears." Wow. The reference to the enemies implies to me that the psalmist saw the physical affliction brought to him by these enemies as God's way of chastening him. He sinned, and the bad guys started hurting him. He prayed for mercy, and he anticipated that the Lord would drive them away.

It's great that we have a God who cares about our groaning. Sometimes it feels like people in church are afraid to hurt. They feel that because they have Jesus, everything should be bright and chipper in their lives. This hasn't been my experience, and I don't think it's normative for Christianity. We are still experiencing the effects of the fall. Death is alive and well. Satan is still the ruler of this age. We are all wasting away. And yet, we are also members of a new age--an age in which death has no power over us. But as we await our redemption, it's okay to mourn the tragedies we see every day. The promise of victory and resurrection should motivate us to cry out to the One who defeated death. He cares about our pain.

"Father, I don't understand why, in Your greatness, you give second thought to people like me. But I'm grateful that you do. Thank you for being compassionate, for being merciful, for being faithful. Father, as I see the pain and suffering around me and around the world, I am reminded that the last enemy has not been subdued yet. I am reminded that I am not home yet. I am reminded that Your kingdom is still in a lot of ways not yet. Father, give me the the faith to persevere. I ask also for the wisdom to recognize the hurting around me and to reach out to them with comfort. I thank you for Your comfort, and for the community of saints who have comforted me. Amen."

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