READ: Psalm 79-80

THINK: How amazing that in the middle of the Bible – where you can’t possibly miss it – is this huge book called Psalms. And how amazing that the writers are just completely honest and forthright and transparent about their concerns and their feelings and their expectations and even their disappointments with God. When I read Psalms like those in these two chapters, I am almost afraid for the writer…kind of like, “You had the nerve to say that to God? And then remind him of his promises? And bring up the past?”

For many years I had the opportunity to teach school in Davenport, Iowa. The high school had all the problems that you might imagine in an economically challenged community. And many times these problems caused some pretty intense stress and disagreement among the staff and especially between the teachers J & administrators L. During our monthly meetings, tensions occasionally boiled over and some brash soul would decide to stand up and vent their feelings, their expectations, and their disappointment with just how awful they felt things were going. In those moments, the weaker and more silent among us, would turn pale, try not to gasp, and stare with wide-eyed wonder as we waited to see just what would happen next. As a recovered (mmmm…still recovering) big-mouth, I was always completely relieved it wasn’t me doing the talking!

During those years in the classroom, I was sometimes on the receiving end of an honest, forthright, and disappointed student. Once every so often, such a student would decide to give voice to these feelings in front of the entire class. Maybe the assignments were too long, the test too hard, the instruction too vague…etc. Depending on the situation, I either listened quietly and offered an apology or extra help or made an adjustment…or threw the kid out, backpack first!

I think reading the Psalms lets us know that it is totally okay to be upfront and honest with God! That does not mean our opinions are always right. It does not mean that God will immediately decide to do things our way. It definitely does not mean we are ever allowed to be disrespectful or unmindful of the fact that we are talking to the Sovereign LORD of the Universe.

But I think it does mean this: God knows; God cares; and God listens to the honest cry of our hearts. I think it does mean that he wants us to remind him that we are waiting for him to forgive us, to save us, to redeem us, to restore us, to vindicate us, and to give us the joy that only He can give.

PRAY: Be reverently open with God today! Remind him of what he has done for you in the past and what you are depending on him to do today! Remind him of his great glory, his everlasting love, and his faithfulness. Ask Him to hear your cry today and to wipe every tear from you eyes! Remember, God already knows us through and through and he invites us to talk to him! He will be faithful to deliver us!

– By Deb Howard

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