We looked yesterday at the way the writers of the Psalms expressed to God the enormous swing of their feelings towards God, the seesaw cycle of intimacy and abandonment that most people feel in their relationship with God. We saw that in Psalm 22 and 23.
A similar contrast occurs in Psalm 102 and 103. Read these today. The first is entitled “A prayer of an afflicted man. When he is faint and pours out his lament before the Lord”, expressing the despair of an aging weakened man who feels abandoned by friends and God. It may not cheer me up, but I can feel that other people, even ones in the Bible, feel like I do sometimes. Then, right after it, comes a majestic hymn of praise, without a doubt in the world. I believe it is no coincidence that these Psalms follow each other.
Sometimes we may feel like the author of Psalms 22 and 102, and we will take comfort that even Jesus felt that way too, when he quoted Psalm 22 on the cross, and though I might almost despair sometimes, I will remind myself of the words of Psalms 23 and 103. By themselves, these Psalms present an almost too easy faith, unrealistic, but the previous Psalms remind us that our walk with God may include both experiences. We may experience times of unusual closeness to God, when He answers our prayers and God seems intimate and caring. We may also experience dark times, when God stays silent, when nothing goes right and God’s promises seem false. Faithfulness to God means trusting Him always, remembering that God reigns and has not abandoned us, no matter what we may feel.
That is why we pray for each other, at all times, and today we especially focus our prayers on:
Beatrix, with Benet and Emelia
Pat and Catherine