I have been in a deep funk for the most of Lent. I have grown weary, very weary. In fact I am having trouble hanging on to the promises from God. I am having great difficulty in seeing that God has prepared a pathway for me.
And so like a great saint of God, I prepared a PLAN B…. otherwise known as the Abraham and Hagar Plan…. and that plan is working out for me pretty much as well as for Abraham and Sarah. It might still be viable if it stops unravelling, but it is filled with great difficulty, the greatest of which is that it will take me away from the region where the most work opportunities are available.
These past few months I have known despair, grief, pain, anxiety, doubt and FEAR. Sooner or later something has to happen or I could find myself and my cat homeless on the street—okay maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration…. but it is what I feel.
At this point in time, the best I can say about my spiritual state is that I am paralyzed by indecision. I don’t feel that I have the information I need and don’t feel a calling from God to move in a particular direction and in the meantime…. I need to speak with my landlord because I can’t afford to stay here at my current income level. I have been hanging on only for the sake of the congregation I am currently working with.
Added to that burden has been the deep concern I feel for others whose lives are also unravelling. The only help we have to offer is going to make things worse in the short term, but hopefully make things perfect in the long term…. (logic I should be remembering for myself)
And I have been angry. Not at God, although I am sure that being angry with him is a part of what I feel. I am angry at people who don’t take advice. I am angry at people who don’t listen. Peveresly I am angry at people whom I expect to behave badly, because they do. They haven’t let me down, they have done exactly what I knew they would, but there must have been some part of me that hoped that they would start to behave in a less slimy manner and actually do something right. Silly me.
And I have been furious. Furious that people seem to think they can walk all over my rights, make snide comments against me and get away with it. And I have found a part of me that would so like to punish them soundly. I understand the part of being angry enough in your heart to want to murder.
But what really is bothering me is that the cumulative effect of the above is making me forget who I am. I am losing sight of the fact that I am a child of the Almighty God, and that my future—not to mention my present—is in his care.
For that reason when I read the bog…..Great Prayers from the Psalms, it seemed to me that this was a good time to stop and look at the promises that God makes and learn…AGAIN… to place my trust in Him. After all he is in charge here. Not those who cause trouble, not those who hold earthly power over my future.
I know that I am blessed. My friends are a great support. My mother is overwhelmingly generous. My daughter and my son-in-law make me cry with the depth of their love and caring. And they are merely a small measure of the love that God pours out for me.
I have begun the exercise. I have looked at the promises in these 10 Psalms. I still fear, but I pray that God will take away my fear. I am still angry, but I pray that God will show me how to behave with a holy anger. I am still struggling to trust and believe, but I pray that God will help my doubt and show me how to find the faith to continue in trust.
Am I there? Not yet. But I have started walking down that road. Will you walk with me? Here are the 10 Psalms that are prayer promises, pray and see for yourself that God is good.
But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain… Psalm 31
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. Psalm 84
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. Psalm 63
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. Psalm 139
Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help. ” Psalm 30
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. Psalm 91
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing Psalm 145
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
And for Holy Week this prayer, because I know that Jesus suffered far more than I the suffering I currently know and especially because I know that I am not blameless in all things, and that above all I need God’s mercy.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51
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Peace and blessings to all of you. May Good Friday lead you out of the depths and into his glorous love.