Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 130. (MsgB)
A Pilgrim Song.
Help, God—the bottom has fallen out of my life! Master, hear my cry for help!
I pray to God—my life a prayer— and wait for what He’ll say and do.
My life’s on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning.
O Israel, wait and watch for God—with God’s arrival comes love, with God’s arrival comes generous redemption.
Let’s face it. Here on planet earth, there will be times…numerous times, sadly…when the bottom falls out of our lives.
I don’t like it. Neither, I guess, do you.
But, appreciate it or not, even for those of us who place our trust in the Lord, there will be seasons when the bottom drops out of our nice little life-box and all of life’s goodies go smashing to the ground. And there you and I stand. Egg on our face. Horrified that such a terrible thing could happen to such a good person as myself!
So many of us, at that point in life, get pissed off and point our finger toward God. “How dare You, God,” we yell at the top of our lungs. “If You really loved me, You’d never let this awful thing happen to me!” Some stomp away in anger and never really allow God to respond to our accusations. Others just pick up all the broken pieces, grab another box and go on with life, never really addressing the hurt and disappointment of having all of our stuff get broken to pieces through such a hideous turn of events.
Yep, without a doubt, it sucks when the bottom falls out of our lives.
And then there are folks like the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 130.
Keep in mind that this guy or gal wasn’t special. He loved God and trusted Him. But sadly, life did the same thing to him or her as it, so often, does to us. You’re walking along, minding your own business, holding all of your life’s belongings in your nice little wooden box. And bam! Suddenly, the bottom of the crate lets loose and now, there you are, standing alone, looking like the fool. You’re holding an empty box with an open bottom while all of your life has just gone down the crapper.
But here’s the difference.
Apparently, the Psalmist who wrote this Song of Ascent had learned the Kingdom secret of waiting and watching.
Now I fully realize that the last thing you want to do in such an embarrassing moment is to stop what you’re doing and simply wait and watch for what God wants to do. Quite honestly, there’s little patience inside me to just stand there while everybody is pointing at you and your sad situation.
Let’s be gut honest here.
It’s embarrassing when the bottom drops out of your life in public settings. The crash alone draws attention to you. Attention you’d prefer to avoid if at all possible.
But apparently, the Kingdom secret here, when the bottom drops out of your box, is to just stand there and give God plenty of time to respond to your crisis.
It’s kinda like the adage that one old pastor told me once… When life gets crappy, Marty, the tendency for most of us is to say to ourselves, “Don’t just stand there, stupid, do something!” But in God’s Kingdom economy, we should reverse that statement and say to ourselves, “Don’t just do something, stupid, just stand there!”
As I see it, this must have been the approach of the Psalmist.
Wait and watch. Wait and watch.
Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous to our human wisdom, but I’m guessing here that Psalm 130 was included in the fifteen Songs of Ascent for this very reason. It works!
My prayer: Father, the next time the bottom drops out of my life, help me to remember the wisdom of Psalm 130. Yes, I don’t like it when that kind of stuff happens, but apparently, Your Word is trying to teach me something here. When bad things happen, Holy Spirit, allow me the grace to simply stand there, waiting and watching for what You want to do to help me in this terrible moment. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: How have I avoided, at all costs, the God-directed instructions to wait and watch when the bottom drops out of my life? Why am I so prone to try to fix things out of my own strength instead of learning the Kingdom secret of waiting and watching when life throws me a curve? What might I do today in real time to apply this ancient truth to my everyday life?
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 Contemplative Activist network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.
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