IN THE SCRIPTURES faithful folk find no limits on what they can say to God. They understand that the living God has granted them freedom to express their distress, and they exercise this freedom to the fullest. If we listen thoughtfully to the biblical words, we begin to hear this all-encompassing freedom:
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me continually,
“Where is your God?” –Psalm 42:2-3
This freedom allows the faithful to express deep longing. It permits them to cry out against isolation and even to accuse God:
“O Lord, God of my salvation,
when, at night, I cry out in your presence,
let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry.
For my soul is full of troubles,
and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the Pit;
I am like those who have no help,
like those forsaken among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more. —Psalm 88:1-5
Exercising this freedom, a psalmist may pour forth impatience:
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?”—Psalm 13:1
– Steve Doughty
To Walk in Integrity
From pages 87-88 of To Walk in Integrity: Spiritual Leadership in Times of Crisis by Steve Doughty. Copyright © 2004 by Steve Doughty. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Find a Psalm that expresses your longing for God. Share your thoughts.
As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’
Matthew 10:7, NRSV
This Week: pray for someone who is experiencing a new beginning. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we remember: Boniface (June 13).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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