Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 13. (MsgB)
Long enough, God— You’ve ignored me long enough.
I’ve looked at the back of Your head long enough. Long enough
I’ve carried this ton of trouble, lived with a stomach full of pain.
Long enough my arrogant enemies have looked down their noses at me.
As I contemplate the first paragraph of Psalm 13, there’s part of me that wonders how these crass words of complaint were ever allowed to appear in the Bible. How dare King David talk to a Holy God this way?
What right, for heaven’s sake, does a human being have to raise his voice to God in this manner?
Isn’t this blasphemy? Insulting God by telling Him off?
How dare a human being point his or her finger to the skies and say these harsh words to the Creator?
Doesn’t Scripture also say that King David was a man after God’s own heart? Doesn’t Jesus, Himself, point to this same man who yells, “Long enough, God” and proudly call Himself “Son of David”?
Unless I’m mistaken here, we’re seeing a part of a godly man that so very often is not allowed in our hallowed halls of religion. In religion, you and I must tiptoe around God, making sure we don’t offend the Almighty. In religion, we are told to put on a smiley face, a mask that covers our pain and hides our disappointments. In religion, you and I must behave ourselves, never raising our voices lest we upset the sleeping God of heaven.
Apparently King David never got the memo that he was never to raise his voice in God’s presence, or state the obvious, even when it’s not politically correct.
Apparently, the Scriptures are giving us more liberty to be gut honest with God than we might first imagine?
Think about it.
Could it be that in God’s economy, it’s perfectly fine for a man or woman who lives close to God to finally reach the point of frustration and yell up to our Creator, “Long enough, Poppa, long enough!”
Kinda reminds me of another good man of another generation.
In the words of Popeye, the sailor man…
“That’s all I can stands, cuz I can’t stands na’ more!”
As I see it, we Christians have been taught to look at our God in ways King David or Popeye would never understand.
Maybe there are times in this life when God actually desires us to get our feathers a bit ruffled? Maybe that’s what God is actually looking for in His friends? Maybe that’s what Jesus meant when He states that the Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing and it takes forceful men and women to take hold of that Kingdom? (see Matthew 11:12)
Maybe, just maybe, God and I need to have one of those good old heart-to-heart talks?
My prayer: God, there are days down here on planet earth when my patience runs out. Long enough, God, long enough. In the words of Popeye, “That’s all I can stands, cuz I can’t stands na’ more!” I’m tired, like King David, of seeing only the back of Your head. Poppa, turn around and look me straight in my eyes. I need You. I must have You, right now, right here. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Why does my religion not allow for gut-honesty with my Heavenly Father? What might it look like to re-examine my prayer life and never allow a mask to cover my true emotions with God or with my own life? How can I find the balance I discover in David’s songs of prayer where he is gut honest with God in his disappointments but also completely dependent on the love of God to cover Him in hard times?
So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?
Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Sustainable Faith-Heartland network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.
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