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Finding God in the Story of Your Life

Leaning into the comfort of God

Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God,

    “Why did you let me down?
Why am I walking around in tears,
    harassed by enemies?”

They’re out for the kill, these
    tormentors with their obscenities,
Taunting day after day,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?

Why are you crying the blues?

Fix my eyes on God—

soon I’ll be praising again.

He puts a smile on my face.

He’s my God. (Psalm 42:9-11, MSG)

 

Have you ever followed the brave example of this Psalm, and said to God, Why did you let me down?

When we’re disappointed, or sad, or struggling–this question is not only okay, it’s healthy. It’s a step toward that “smile on my face” that concludes this Psalm of lament.

But we can’t get to the smile until we are willing to acknowledge the struggle. Until we are willing to admit that the flag of our soul is at half-mast, we cannot experience the joy that God gives. He comforts us in our grief, not in our denial.

 

Photo by Keri Wyatt Kent

Photo by Keri Wyatt Kent

We often mistakenly believe that our faith will solve all our problems. That’s simply not true. Faith just gives us someone to walk with us through those problems. It gives us God’s love and strength to face those problems, it gives us courage to endure in spite of those problems.

We are invited to lean into the comfort of God–but we must first acknowledge that we need that comfort. We must admit that sometimes, life is hard. This leads us to ask tough questions, to feel the struggle, but ultimately, choose to embrace the comfort God offers.

So if you are feeling sad, disappointed, dismayed, even depressed, try today’s presence practice. Read slowly through Psalm 42. Pray it, bit by bit. Be as honest as you can with God, and with yourself.

By the way, blogger Tim Fall wrote an excellent post titled Clues About the Blues in response to reading this chapter of Deeply Loved. Click over and check it out, along with all Tim’s other insightful writing.

Finally: Hey, it’s Friday, which means I’m giving away a book. To enter the drawing, simply:

–subscribe to this blog via the form on the right side of this page

–leave a comment below letting us know you did that.

We’ll select a winner. And this week only, you can choose which title to receive: Deeply Loved, or my book Deeper into the Word Old Testament. If we get more than 10 entries, we’ll give away both books!

 

3 Comments

  1. “He comforts us in our grief, not in our denial.” That is the most thought provoking statement I’ve read all week, Keri. When we deny God’s presence in our lives, even though he has not left us we put ourselves in a position to pretend that he is not with us. What a horrible feeling that is. Yet when we say we doubt, God says, “Let’s talk about that.” What a great feeling that is.

  2. How many times we not deny, we just cannot find his presence. whether due to multiple kids under 5 years old, pressure at work or depression that occasionally surfaces, sometimes I cannot find the Lord. One of my early bible memories verses Hebrews 12:1-4, encourages to to look to the Lord, but I am encouraged by a great cloud of witnesses! Sometimes looking around my life, I find a co-worker, a fellow runner, or a neighbor who seems to appear. I am believing God sent these people. Sometimes I do not have to look far.

    • I agree, Patrick. That great cloud of witnesses might actually be right in front of us! Good to see you this morning, and hope you have a happy anniversary!

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