Trusting? I don’t know…

Some days even a preacher’s kid struggles with believing and trusting God. Sometimes just when you think things are beginning to turn a corner, and there’s hope, it seems like something else slaps you in the face…and you wonder what the future holds for someone you love.

So what do you do?

You can scream and rage at God…you can dissolve in tears…you can shut down… You can turn your back on God…but deep down you know that God hasn’t turned away from you, even though you don’t understand what’s going on.

That’s sometimes when you begin to understand what it really means to pray the Psalms. Not just read them…but pray them.

The Psalms have every emotion that you can think of: joy…anger…pain…despair…hatred…hope…

Right now, Psalm 77 seems to fit my emotions. Here’s the CEV translation:

I pray to you, Lord God,
and I beg you to listen.
2 In days filled with trouble,
I search for you.
And at night I tirelessly
lift my hands in prayer,
refusing comfort.
3 When I think of you,
I feel restless and weak.

4 Because of you, Lord God,
I can’t sleep.
I am restless
and can’t even talk.
5 I think of times gone by,
of those years long ago.
6 Each night my mind
is flooded with questions:
7 “Have you rejected me forever?
Won’t you be kind again?
8 Is this the end of your love
and your promises?
9 Have you forgotten
how to have pity?
Do you refuse to show mercy
because of your anger?”
10 Then I said, “God Most High,
what hurts me most
is that you no longer help us
with your mighty arm.”

Our Lord, I will remember
the things you have done,
your miracles of long ago.
12 I will think about each one
of your mighty deeds.
13 Everything you do is right,
and no other god
compares with you.
14 You alone work miracles,
and you have let nations
see your mighty power.
15 With your own arm you rescued
your people,
the descendants
of Jacob and Joseph.

16 The ocean looked at you, God,
and it trembled deep down
with fear.
17 Water flowed from the clouds.
Thunder was heard above
as your arrows of lightning
flashed about.
18 Your thunder roared
like chariot wheels.
The world was made bright
by lightning,
and all the earth trembled.
19 You walked through the water
of the mighty sea,
but your footprints
were never seen.
20 You guided your people
like a flock of sheep,
and you chose Moses and Aaron
to be their leaders.

When I read it, it catches up my sense of despair and hopelessness…but by the time I get to the end, I am reminded of God’s work in the past in providing a way out, even when it seemed hopeless. So maybe…just maybe…there is hope for the future in what seem like currently hopeless situations.