Remember that time I started this whole “write about a psalm a day to become more disciplined” thing? And remember that time when, 3 days in, I missed 2 days in a row, thus ruining my perfect run?
Well, the cool thing is, God’s grace is bigger than me missing 2 days of writing. And, the other cool thing is, His Word draws me back. Just because I messed up doesn’t mean I’m completely out of the game. Coach isn’t putting me on the bench because I’m a big screw up. If anything, He’s inviting me back in, pushing me back onto the field, cheering me on as I continue growing in my game.
So, here we are. Psalm 4.
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? (Selah)
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. (Selah)
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
This will probably be the first time of many that I say something along these lines: I am so thankful that there is a book in the Bible that articulates all kinds of feels. I am so thankful that there is a writer – a man after God’s own heart – that admits to being in distress. That begs God to be gracious with him. That agonizes over shame and vanity and lies.
And I’m so thankful that same man acknowledges that the only One who can grant safety is the Most High God.
I don’t think we admit our distress enough. I don’t think we are real with one another as much as we should be.
I know I’m not. Just today it was like pulling teeth for me to finally articulate to one of my best friends why I was feeling so wonky about life.
But here’s what happens when we admit distress to one another, and to God: He lifts up the light of His face upon us.
When we sit across the table from one another, sharing stories of heartache and hurt, we can look one another in the eye and say, “I am so sorry. I am right there with you.” And I think that is some of the light of God’s face shining upon us.
I think God puts more joy in our hearts when we lock hands and say, “What? You too? I thought no one but myself…” (that’s a C.S. Lewis quote, b-t-dubs, but it’s totally appropriate.)