Ultimate Meaning

As Christians we are often guilty of what a friend of mine calls “fluffy bunny theology”: a faith reliant on sunshine and flowers and little lambs bounding through green pastures. But life is not always easy or pleasant. If our faith counts for something — if it counts for anything — it will speak to us in times of suffering and pain as well as when life is peaceful and good.

The Scripture

Psalm 3
New International Version translation

O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying to me, “There is no help for you in God.” Selah

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head. I cry aloud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the Lord sustains me. I am not afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.

Rise up, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.

Deliverance belongs to the Lord; bless your people! Selah

Psalm 4
New International Version translation

Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.

How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? Selah

But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.

When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Selah

Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.

There are many who say, “O that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!” You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound.

I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

Photo of a flower

Reflection by Deborah Beach Giordano
August 29, 2016

A Psalm for Difficult Times

Psalms 3 and 4

interpreted by Deborah

O Lord, I am surrounded!
I wonder if You know…

I am so tired,
so anxious,
so weary of the fight.

Pain, grief, and confusion,
my constant companions,
an unholy trinity

stalk my every moment,
assail me in broad daylight,
and attack throughout the night;

their incessant, infernal din
erodes my hope and my courage
and drains my will to live.

O Lord, I am exhausted!
I wonder if You hear ….

My head throbs,
my heart aches,
I cannot rest or sleep.

I lie down and rise again,
there is no peace nor comfort,
there is no respite for me.

How many are my enemies!
Ten thousand thousand fears
are encamped around my soul;

they strike when I am weakest
pangs of guilt, barbs of regret,
thoughts that cut and wound.

O Lord, I am despairing!
I wonder if You care…

I cannot run away,
there is nowhere to hide,
no shelter from the storm,

If I flee to the highest mountain
or sail to a distant shore,
still …. You are there.

You!
There in the stillness
I mistook for silence;
You in the midst of it all.

What brings You here,
into the depths alongside me?
Why would You endure
this suffering, confusion, and pain?

O Lord, I am encircled
by Your love for me!

Virtual hugs and real-time blessings,

Deborah

Suggested Spiritual Exercise

Reflect on this Scripture passage:

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
      ~ Isaiah 40:28-29 (NIV)