Half Mast

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It seems the flags should be permanently left at half-mast.

I wrote last week about how bleak things had become. Well, this week they’ve become even bleaker. More unjust shootings. More violence. It’s like we’re back fifty years ago. Or worse yet, it’s like we’re becoming a third-world country.

Constant instability.

How can someone not be depressed at this point? If you’ve even spent five minutes on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll come away discouraged.

When will it end? What will this new week bring? More innocent African-Americans gunned down without cause? More hard-working, self-sacrificing officers gunned down without cause? More attempts at racial revenge, from both sides?

I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m discouraged. I’m so lonely. I’m longing for a better place. I’m weary and weak…but I’m worshiping!

Sound weird? But that’s the attitude of David in Psalm 69. And in these times of discouragement, I find it does my soul good to go back to the topic I first blogged about: “Keep Calm and Read a Psalm.”

David pours out his heart to the one person who will always hear him. Verses 1-3 could describe many people in our nation right now:

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.

Vs. 19-20 hold some hope, but also sad loneliness in the face of numerous enemies:

You know my reproach,
    and my shame and my dishonor;
    my foes are all known to you.
Reproaches have broken my heart,
    so that I am in despair.
I looked for pity, but there was none,
    and for comforters, but I found none.

Vs. 29 sums it all up:

But I am afflicted and in pain;
    let your salvation, O God, set me on high!

And then verse 30 is a complete turn-around:

I will praise the name of God with a song;
    I will magnify him with thanksgiving.

What?! Why would you praise God when there are so many bad guys and no good guys? When you’re afflicted and in pain…you praise the name of God with a song?

Yes, because David knows God. Personally. They have a deep relationship. And he knows that though trials come, though things go from bad to worse, God will come through. God is good – when has He ever given us any reason to doubt that?

Yesterday, I sat at a waterfall with my Dad, and we talked about all that God has done for us in recent years. We reflected on times of trouble and how silly we were to doubt God then. But it’s easy to look back and be Monday-morning Christian. When you’re in the struggle and the pain, that’s the hard time to trust.

But we have to do it anyway. Because God has proven Himself faithful. We have never had a reason to doubt Him. And we never will. No matter how unstable it gets.

No matter how long the flag remains at half-mast, we can raise our hands high in praise to God.

David knows that “God will save Zion” (vs. 35).

I know that God will save me.

-M@

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