For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Oh God. Sometimes that sums it up. I have many “Oh God” types of days.
Days when I wake up and read about our world. I read about parents and children being separated. I read about wars and rumors of wars. I read about opioid epidemics destroying a generation and I read social media judgments about others that break my heart because NOBODY IS LISTENING.
And I think, Oh God…
There are days that I look at our church. And I think about the pain that so many have gone through. I think about chronic sickness, unanswered prayers, and difficult family relationships. I think about divorce, I think about mental illness, and I think about so many other things that are heartbreaking to deal with. Sometimes I get sad. Sometimes I get angry.
And I think, Oh God...
Then there are days when I look inside myself, my laziness, my lack of love and compassion, my impatience in ministry and parenting. Days when I’m more selfish than un, days when I’d rather just do something else, days where it’s so easy to critique everyone around me rather than search my own heart.
And I think, Oh God…
And there are days where I look around at people trying to find meaning, people hiding deep hurts and insecurities because they don’t know it’s safe to be honest.
And I pray….
And then there are other days.
Days when I think about the way that Jesus has transformed me. Days when I look around and see good being done- lots of good being done- in the world, and through the beautiful community that I’m a part of. There are days when I notice all the people who have been changed by grace- when love overcomes evil. Days when I see that second chances, miraculous moments, and forgiveness have become normal moments in lives touched by Jesus around me. There are days when I’m in awe at how God’s peace remains available to us even when we are scared, worried, devastated, angry, or confused. There are days when I really believe.
And I marvel…
Sometimes there is joy. Sometimes there is anger. But always, there is God. Peter had it right that day in the book of John when life was getting hard (6:68). He was trying to trust and follow this Nazarene with a vision and figure out what this kingdom was all about. But things weren’t neat and clean. Peter kept failing, and he had big questions theologically that weren’t going to be fully resolved anytime soon. But when Jesus asked Peter if he was going to leave him just like the rest of the crowd, his response still pierces my soul.
Who else would I go to? You have the words of real life, eternal life.
Sometimes we praise. Sometimes we cry out in desperation. Sometimes all we have to offer is anger, confusion, or sorrow. But always, may we bring those things to God. If you are having an Oh God day or an Oh God week, may you know that God hears your cry, joins you in your journey, and loves you in an impossibly beautiful way.
Our prayer today:
Oh God. Thank you for hearing me.