Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Where are you?

As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
    under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
    among the festive throng.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.
~Psalm 42
Yesterday, I went to my boyfriend's church.
The sermon was based upon Psalm 42. It was very relatable so I figured I'd share some of my favorite points with you.
During the sermon, Pastor Eric painted us a picture of what it looks like to be caught in the middle of a drought. Not literally, but figuratively.
The kind of drought that brings about questions and emotions. Not just any questions, but questions that are so desperate for answers. Questions that are life changing. Questions of why, where, and how.
Not just any emotion, but raw emotion. The emotions that well up deep within the soul that are fighting so desperately to come out. Emotions that come from an experience that often leaves a person feeling wrecked.
This is the kind of drought I'm talking about.
As I listened to the message, tears rolled down my cheek. My mind went straight to my close friends who have recently lost parents. I haven't experienced the death of a loved one so I can't really relate, but I do know that what so often follows a death are questions like "Why God? Where are you?!"
My heart aches for them.
Although I haven't asked those questions in that sense, I have asked them.
I've asked these questions when plans haven't work out the way that I had planned.
I've asked these questions when I've seen the world, as well as the tragedy it has faced.
Mostly, I've asked these questions in terms of my health. While I've writhed in pain, I've cried out to God, "Where are you? Why are you letting this happen? Rescue me!"
I'm sure you've faced similar experiences. If it hasn't been a death or illness, maybe it has been a broken relationship or disappointment. Who knows, but I bet that you've asked the why, where, and how questions before.
While some people may say that questioning God is bad, Pastor Eric encouraged us that questions are good. Questions are healthy, as well as emotions (even anger and sadness). He said, "being Christian doesn't mean we have it altogether, but what happens when you get it wrong."
So be encouraged if you are facing a drought right now and don't understand why...I may not have an answer for you, but I do know it isn't because God has left you. He hasn't left you. He is by your side. He never promised that life would be easy. He never said that if you follow Him nothing bad will happen, but instead Jesus said, "take up your cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).  The cross may be heavy and may rub the wrong way at times, but it's worth it in the end.
Don't feel ashamed to question or to feel emotion. Lean upon God and have hope.
You see, a drought is always followed by a shower.
If you are in a drought, I pray that you will feel a shower of love, peace, and comfort that only God can provide.
(If you need more encouragement check out my post, Joy Abounds),
In loving memory of Andi & Jim - 2 people I was blessed to have known.
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
Reading plan for the week:
Today: 2 Chronicles 28-31
Tuesday: 2 Chronicles 32-34
Wednesday: 2 Chronicles 35-36
Thursday: Ezra 1-3
Friday: Ezra 4-7
Saturday: Ezra 8-10
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