My kids have learned a new word . . . “Really?” . . . They use this as an expression of disbelief or surprise. To be completely honest, it drives me crazy to hear them use this word. It has become a habit, and I am trying to help them stop. Questioning the truth of what you hear is not a bad thing, but hearing others question everything you say can be offensive. Sometimes I thing we would be wise to say to ourselves “Really?” Is the picture of life that we are showing the world true? Does God want us to put on a happy face and act like everything is fine when it is not? It is hard to be real when we aren’t happy with real. I have a friend who calls Facebook “fakebook” for this very reason. It always makes me laugh to hear her say it because there is truth to what she says.
I am still reading through Psalms. It has been such an encouragement to me. Today I came to Psalm 69, and I had to pause as the realization came over me that King David, THE King David who killed Goliath and was Israel’s hero, wrote this Psalm! Read verses 1-6:
Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore? O God, You know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from You. Let not those who hope in You be put to shame through me, O Lord God of hosts; let not those who seek You be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.
David was called a man after God’s own heart. He was the greatest king in the history of Israel, and he had problems! Somewhere along the way, we have come to think that if we do right, life will be good. We say that we don’t believe in “prosperity gospel,” but then when life gets hard, we question God. We think we shouldn’t face hardship because we are children of God. I think many of the Israelites thought this way too. Imagine with me that you are at the temple worshipping, and the priests announce a new psalm of David has been released for public worship! They begin to sing. The words are not what you expected. Why . . . if David, great man that he is, has gone through such terrible times, then where does that leave me? You keep listening, and David gives you the answer through the song. Verses 29-36:
But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His own people who are prisoners. Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them. For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it; the offspring of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love His name shall dwell in it.
I love how David points us to the Lord. Our hope is in Him! Praise the Lord! I don’t have to have it all together, in fact, when my life is a mess, I can be honest about my imperfections and point others to the One who loves them and hears the needy. So, when we act like we have it all together, not only are we putting up a false front for the world to see, we are failing to give God the glory for the times he has rescued us out of our mess.
This is a hard lesson to learn! I want to have it all together, but I don’t (and probably never will). But I have learned that if I can be honest, then when others say “Really?” I can point them to Jesus, then One who holds me when I can’t see then next step. And when I come through the struggle, I will praise Him with a song of thanksgiving and magnify Him!
Enjoy listening to the song Made me Glad by Hillsong! May God bless you as you lift up His name in praise!