Blessed be the Lord who daily bears our burden. ~ Psalm 68:19 written by David.
When hard times come, we have a few choices. We can pretend that it’s not happening and just bottle up our questions and struggles. We can get upset with God and refuse to talk to him – or we can bring our questions and struggles to him and say what’s on our mind, even if it doesn’t seem very faith filled!
“Blessed be the Lord who daily bears our burden” Psalm 68:19 written by David.
I’ve recently come through a stressful time that has included preparation for preaching; leading two funerals (including that of my in-laws who died a month apart), along with hosting many loved ones over a few days; working to put together a pilgrim trip to Israel as well as trying to sell our house in an extremely uncertain market. I have been stretched and at a point felt it keenly. During this time I reviewed my prayer requests for the past few months. I write them down, review and re-pray them and mark with red when they have been answered. Well, there were a number of requests that remain in limbo – when will the answer come?? Maybe you can relate to some of this?
When these times come, we have a few choices. We can pretend that it’s not happening and just bottle up our questions and struggles. We can get upset with God and refuse to talk to him – or we can bring our questions and struggles to him and say what’s on our mind, even if it doesn’t seem very faith filled!
To do the first is to live dysfunctionally – to ignore or deny what is or is not happening is to not live in reality. I don’t think this is a very good direction!
To do the second is to move toward faithlessness. The problem with this is that I see no satisfying alternative regarding our struggles – it leads to cynicism.
The third response has us take our struggles to God. Psalm 103:14 tells us that God remembers that we are only dust – that is – we are bound by our human limitations. He understands our emotions, our short life span, and our extremely limited view. This is where I love the psalms of David – each of them is a prayer (talking to God) whether they are filled with devotion and love, or whether they are exasperated cries or even calls for revenge. God is big enough to hear the gamut of our experience. At the very least we are bringing our cares to the One who can – and will – bear them!
Isn’t this an “Encounter” of a different kind? We generally think of a God encounter as an exhilarating event, but in this situation we are reminded of our vulnerability in light of his strength and constancy. At least we have brought our struggle to the right place!
So – go to God today with what is bugging you! He is the Lord who daily bears our burden!
Have a listen to this song – I heard it first this winter. Let the phrase “God will work it out” settle into your soul…
Pastor Leon Throness