Hunkered Down Devotion

Psalm 42:5; 7-8; 11 (Voice)
5 Why am I so overwrought?  Why am I so disturbed?  Why can’t I just hope in God?
Despite all my emotions, I will believe and praise the One who saves me and is my life.  7 In the roar of Your waterfalls, ancient depths surge, calling out to the deep.  All Your waves break over me; am I drowning?
8 Yet in the light of day, the Eternal shows me His love.  When night settles in and all is dark, He keeps me company - His soothing song, a prayerful melody to the True God of my life.
11 Why am I so overwrought, why am I so disturbed?  Why can’t I just hope in God?  Despite all my emotions, I will believe and praise the One who saves me, my God.

If you are a regular reader of these devotionals, you know that it has been a while since we have dipped into the daily Psalms for inspiration.  That is, obviously, on me as I am the one that chooses the scripture that is the focus for the devotion each day.  I really do try to switch things around, but mostly I hope that I am following where the Spirit leads.  Regardless, I suggest that you make a habit of reading at least some part of the daily lectionary on a regular basis, so that whether I share it or not, you are getting a healthy dose of psalms in your spiritual diet.

The Psalms are so important for us to read and listen to because they are so full of the kind of emotional and spiritual honesty that we are tempted to leave out of our public – and even private – worship and devotion.  In today’s Psalm, Psalm 42, the author is wrestling with feeling overwhelmed and pressed-down upon.  At multiple points he wonders, as many of us have at one point or another, ‘Why can’t I just hope in God?’  Or in other words, ‘why isn’t my faith making all of this all easier?  

I know that is a question I have asked on more than one occasion.  Why isn’t it easier to have faith?  And then, why isn’t my faith making my life easier?  These questions are marks of a lack of faith or illustrations of some sort of failing on our part, rather they are normal and honest questions that are a part of living our life in this fallen world.  The only way we can truly grow in these situations and get help from God and God’s Holy Spirit in them, is by being honest about them and turning them over to God, not by pretending we don’t have doubts or questions.

The other beautiful part about the Psalms is that they provide the model of what it looks like for how to remain faithful in the midst of our questions and our doubts.  The Psalmist asks his questions, he voices his doubts.  But at the end of it all, he also makes it clear that he will make the choice be faithful to God.  At the end of the Psalm he declares, ‘I will believe and praise the One who saves me, my God.’  Even in the midst of questions and doubts, the Psalms teach us that faithfulness is still a choice that is available to us.  

Sharing God’s Love,

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for your faithfulness to and for us and we ask that you would help us be faithful to you.  Amen.

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