In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hope


I'm hurting and feeling discouraged.

I know that Hope is always in God.

So I decided to feed myself some Word. I wish I could say that was my first response, instead of the chocolate binge I had last night. I also struggled last night with sleep and finally rose at 4:30AM; and I'm not a morning person.

The specific reason for my sadness is that I'm feeling rejected.

My son is home for just a very short visit from West Point. I picked him up at 11:30PM on Wednesday from the airport and will have to drop him off at 7PM on Saturday.

Because we spent Thanksgiving with my husband's daughter and family who live in the same time we did until a year ago, I offered my son to drop him off at a friend's after the feast so he could visit and I could return to the family visit. So he spent Thursday evening, night and Friday morning with his friends and then one of them dropped him off at his dad's mother to spend time with his dad and family and his dad gave him a ride home around 6PM last night (Friday). When he got home he said he needed to check some things and wanted to go to bed early because he'd gotten barely any sleep the last couple of nights. So I left him alone and went back to his room so we could hang out some around 6:40PM. He put down the top to his lap top when I came in - it looked like he'd been IMing someone. Basically I could tell he didn't want to talk or hang out with me. When I checked again at 8PM the door was closed and his light was out. I know this is normal, typically at 19 your parents aren't the people you want to spend time with. I remember being more into my friends than my family at that age.

But the truth of the matter is that even though I understand, I still feel hurt and rejected. I miss him so much while he's away at school and I was so excited about him coming home for a visit; but we really have not gotten to visit. I also know that the schedule at West Point is grueling, he doesn't have the fun and freedom that other college students have and that when he is home he is tired and wants to just have fun. But none of this knowledge changes how I feel.

So, now that I've vented, I want to look to the word to feed my thoughts. I went on Bible gateway and looked up the word Hope in the topical index. There were several scriptures provided but the one I chose to meditate on this morning was in the Psalms. I love the Psalms; they are so emotional and dramatic - just like me. I appreciate that I'm not the only one to be so intense and I take comfort and instruction from the Psalms. Here's the one I'm looking at this morning - Psalm 42:1-8 The Message:

1-3 A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek;
I want to drink God,
deep draughts of God.
I'm thirsty for God-alive.
I wonder, "Will I ever make it—
arrive and drink in God's presence?"
I'm on a diet of tears—
tears for breakfast, tears for supper.
All day long
people knock at my door,
Pestering,
"Where is this God of yours?"

4 These are the things I go over and over,
emptying out the pockets of my life.
I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd,
right out in front,
Leading them all,
eager to arrive and worship,
Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving—
celebrating, all of us, God's feast!

5 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
soon I'll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He's my God.

6-8 When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse
everything I know of you,
From Jordan depths to Hermon heights,
including Mount Mizar.
Chaos calls to chaos,
to the tune of whitewater rapids.
Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers
crash and crush me.
Then God promises to love me all day,
sing songs all through the night!
My life is God's prayer.

There is this theme throughout of looking to God. God is the source, He is who the author longed for as a deer would need water.

I can relate to the idea of being so caught up in the sadness, yet wanting to be in God's presence. I am captivated by how the author phrases these feelings: "I'm thirsty for God-alive.
I wonder, "Will I ever make it—
arrive and drink in God's presence?"
I'm on a diet of tears"

It's interesting to me how I tend to try to feed my thirst other things when it's really God I'm desiring. Last night it was chocolate and that's definitely been a long standing unhealthy behavior - stuff the emptiness with comfort food. But I've also tried in my past to fill the hollow inside my soul with relationships. Neither work. It is only God that can fill the thirst.

I adore the feel of the words here, the beauty of them. How the author describes looking back over his life in the 4th verse as "emptying out the pockets of my life". I can relate to his feelings of thinking about how he used to be someone who led the way in the praises of God and now he's sitting there and crying. I think many Christians can relate to these feelings. We've known what it is like to praise and love God and all the wonderfulness that comes with that, yet we still find ourselves sometimes in the depths of sadness. I suppose these negative emotions are part of the human condition.

The author does point to another way of life. I love how he talks to himself to get himself on the right track. How the author asks himself in the 5th verse: "Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?" and then he provides himself with the solution: "Fix my eyes on God—
soon I'll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He's my God. " The author goes on to explain this process of fixing his eyes on God even more when in verse 6 he says "When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse
everything I know of you". Then he goes on to say one of the things he does know of God; in verse 8 he proclaims: "God promises to love me all day,
sing songs all through the night!
My life is God's prayer. "

How encouraging to realize that my life too is God's prayer! That he cares about me and is intimately involved in my life.

The truth is here in the Word; focusing on God instead of the problem is the way to deal with sad feelings. Situations will happen that are not pleasing and are even painful. But my hope is not in this life, my hope is in God.



1 comment:

Petula Wright said...

Wonderful post and sharing. I'm glad you were able to find comfort in the Word and that you shared this with us. It's great that you understand what your son is goin through, but I would say that it wouldn't hurt to bring it up to him in a loving way. Maybe you can say something like, "I know you're tired, but would you like to do XYZ at XYZ time." That way maybe you can spend some quality time together as well as give him his freedom. God bless.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin