Scripture: Psalm 30
Key verses: (6-7) As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” By your favor, O Lord, you had established me as a strong mountain; you hid your face; I was dismayed.”
Reflection: In the good times it is easy to be certain of your faith in God. Gratitude and blessing fill your life with peace. It is a challenge to have this same kind of faith when life falls apart or when our plans change and life takes an unexpected turn. In times like this, you may have cried out in prayer – certain that God would give you the answer you wanted. But, what happened when the answer didn’t come? What happens when we discover that the faith that was so strong in the good times seems inadequate for what we face. Psalm 30 acknowledges this struggle. It reminds us that our faith isn’t a matter of getting God to do what we want, but rather a reminder that God has made promises to us. When we feel like God is a million miles away, God is still with us. It is normal to feel like God has forsaken us when life collapses around us. Even Jesus on the cross struggled with this reality of being human. When we are going through these trials it feels like there will only be an unhappy ending. The Psalmist challenges God in a way that we might do in verse 9: If you don’t help me God, then who is going to praise you? The Ancients believed that bad things happened because God was angry with them. But, we know that things can and do go wrong even to saintly people. All of us are mortal and life is fragile. Bad things happen. And, yet God helps us. God gives us the hope we need to endure, friends to walk with us on the journey, a faith community to show us the loving kindness and compassion of God. None of us is so strong in faith that we will never be shaken. Life happens. The LORD will lift us up eventually, but it usually is in a way we didn’t think of. There are no magic formulas – only hope and faith and the belief that nothing can separate us from the love of God. So, even when we feel like God is hidden, God is with us. Cling to God’s love and remember that weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. You will be changed by the difficulties in life, but you can find wholeness again. It takes time to accept the new normal, so don’t take this journey alone. There are resources in every faith community to help you make it through until you discover peace and joy again.
Prayer: Lord, God there is so much we don’t understand. Help us in times of doubt and struggle to keep our eyes on you. Even in our fear and pain, send us a sign of your great love through the care of a friend, the support of a faith community, or the resources of our faith. May we place our lives in your hands when our faith is challenged, knowing that you are near. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].