Wednesday, November 11th Psalm 63:1-8

“O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name. My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:1-8

Many people would read these verses and come away completely cold. Many people, faithful people, religious people, church-going people, have little or no experience of a relationship with God that is so desperate, so vibrant, so essential, that they could honestly say these verses out loud without at least a little embarrassment.

“My soul thirsts for you.”

“My flesh faints for you.”

“For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy…”

“Normal” people don’t talk about God like that much. People from North Dakota don’t talk like that about anything… It seems strange in our ears to be so desperate for God.

Middle class, working people, caught up in the rhythms of life, plenty of food to eat, enough money for the mortgage, the war happening a long way away, driving the kids around, going to church on Sunday and making sure you’re home in time to watch “Grey’s Anatomy” or “American Idol” (by the way, probably the most aptly named show on television today)…God kind of finds a comfortable place in the mix of everything else going on in life. Heck, God is actually optional! We think of the church as a “volunteer organization.”

But show me one person in the first few days or weeks of recovery from an addictive illness…one person who wants what they see that the other sober people in the world have…and I’ll show you someone who is desperately hungry and thirsty for the kind of God who shows up in their torment and relieves their pain in wonderful, miraculous and healing ways!

Show me one person who has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease and suddenly realizes that they might not be there for their kids as they grow up, they might lose a beloved spouse, or their lives might be altered forever, and I’ll show you a person who is praying with a depth they have never known before!

Show me a person who has been taken to the edge of life, who has tasted their own powerlessness, who has taken a bath in their own shame, and who is then brought to new life by the amazing grace of God, communicated through words of acceptance and forgiveness, embodied by real human people who actually care, and I will show you a person who stretches as far as they can reach to praise the God who gave them a new life!!!

Do we HAVE to go there to get there? Do we HAVE to get to the limits of life before we are finally open to seeking a God who is truly there for us? Maybe we do. Or maybe we don’t. Maybe the witness of another is enough for us. The witness of a friend. Even the witness of a Psalmist who has tasted of the deepest shame and humiliation of life and, by the grace of God, has come out whole.

Let us pray: God, in the dry and dirty places of our lives, when we have no where else to go, we turn to you and you are right there beside us. Fill us today with the joy of your salvation, the strength of your Spirit, and the delight of your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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2 Responses to “Wednesday, November 11th Psalm 63:1-8”

  1. Elain Edge Says:

    This one is so right on!Thanks for reminding me to rejoice every day that goes well.

  2. dempsene giles Says:

    Real “Soul Food”. I enjoyed the point about “American Idol”. A good chuckle.
    Thanks
    d.giles

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