Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful?

Do you battle with memories and longings for the happy Thanksgiving Days of years past?

If so, maybe you are the person I've posted this Psalm for today. I had several psalms in mind but none of them quite fit as well as this one. It was an "A-ha!" moment when I came across it so I'm pretty sure God wants it here for someone specific -- maybe it's for you today.

I know that widowhood often feels like running a marathon you've not trained for; or like a deer running from a forest fire -- heart pounding, lungs burning, panting and in desperate need of water. I know that widows feel downcast, their faith is questioned and attacked, and sometimes the tears burst like a water pipe all day and all night. You feel abandoned; the loneliness is agony.


God meets us in the tumult. The Holy Spirit comes alongside the mess of ashes and chaos of our soul. Can you see His presence in these verses? (Notice I didn't ask if you could feel God's presence. If you're like I was you feel nothing but dead inside). 

Watch for the "I will" statements. Do you see them? They are just small, quick sparks of life and hope empowered by the Holy Spirit, but that's all it takes. God will not snuff you out. And on this day of Thanksgiving a little spark of hope is enough. You will yet praise Him.

Psalm 42(NIV, 1984) (italics are mine)

As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude, 
leading the procession to the
house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
    among the festive throng.
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.
By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
10 
My bones suffer mortal agony
    as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
11 
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.
photo credit: https://goo.gl/images/5ukDbZ

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