Good times…

Good times…

“Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well!
Come back, God—how long do we have to wait?—
and treat your servants with kindness for a change.
Surprise us with love at daybreak; then we’ll skip and dance all the day long.
Make up for the bad times with some good times;
we’ve seen enough evil to last a lifetime.” – Psalm 90:12-15 (MSG)

How many times have you thought it? When tragedy strikes. When concert crowds get shot up. When cars plow into busy sidewalks full of people. When the prospect of a nuclear strike is handled with the flippancy of ordering a cup of coffee. How many times have you thought, “Dear God, it’d sure be nice for some peace for a while; we’ve seen enough evil to last a lifetime”? I know I think it every time I come across one of those stories of tragedy. But I think we are hesitant to actually say it out loud, or to actually make it a prayer.

The next time you pray, listen to the language that you use. It is probably reverent and respectful. We all tend to want to approach God in that way, perhaps fearful that any other avenue would lead to disappointment and desolation. And that is why I love the Psalms. Those folks, David and the rest, they didn’t pull any punches whether they were talking about their own sin or how they have felt God is mistreating them. I love it. “Surprise us with love at daybreak;” Ha Ha! As if to say “God, you have been a real jerk lately, but you know what would surprise us? A little love every now and then!”

The Psalms are filled with those kinds of prayers and poems. And we may think that it takes a certain amount of boldness and courage to pray like that, but in reality, all it takes is honesty. Let me tell you a secret: God already knows how you are feeling and what you are thinking, so it is not only appropriate to give voice to those feelings, it is healthy.

Any relationship, without honesty, is doomed to miscommunication and failure. God knows how we truly feel; we are not going to hurt God’s feelings. But to pretend our own feelings do not exist is to be dishonest with ourselves and begins to build a wall in our relationship with God.

When you pray, be honest with yourself; it’ll be no surprise to God, and it will help your relationship to grow if you both know the truth of how you feel.

Looking forward to some good times,
Pastor Mike

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