The pandemic has revealed the true colors of integrity, faith, kindness, gentleness, degrees of anger brought on by the selfishness in all of us. When our lives are suddenly turned upside down, our routines disrupted and our independence temporarily hindered, we humans push back. Even though people are dying all around us, (physically and spiritually), we don’t like being told what to do or when and where to do it. We especially don’t like taking our precioius time to think about how to live life differently so we can cope and adjust to change. No, we demand everything to be “as it was”, good or bad. We want to live life on our terms and no one else’s. Anger sets in and takes up residence.
When anger over disappointments in life builds up over time, the result is a growing cancerous virus of bitterness. One of the symptoms of COVID is the loss of taste. Anger and bitterness will shade our taste for life, our gratitude for what is and will take away our peace. Anger comes from fear and previous hurts unresolved and unforgiven. We fear another hurt so we live expecting hurt. When we expect hurt, we will get it because what we “sow, we reap” even in our minds. We begin to think everyone is out to “get us” and wants us to fail. So, it becomes easy to blame everyone and every situation for our failure. We become paranoid and live in a state of unrest. When we are discouraged, fearful and hurt, we begin to hurt others because our thought processes rely only on a negative narrative. We think the worst, not the best of others while judging their thoughts presumptuously.
Guess what? God knows and He is used to this rebellious behavior. He hears our anger when times get rough. He grieves over our bitterness and unrest. Sometimes He waits for us to get the anger out of our systems in our shouting and complaining before come to our aid. Only when we become humble before Him, ready to listen, willing to trust will God speak. David knows how to come to God. He writes our next psalm to illustrate the character of God.
When God is silent, it doesn’t mean He isn’t there.
Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs
Psalm 55, The Message
A David Psalm
1-3 Open your ears, God, to my prayer;
don’t pretend you don’t hear me knocking.
Come close and whisper your answer.
I really need you.
I shudder at the mean voice,
quail before the evil eye,
As they pile on the guilt,
stockpile angry slander.
4-8 My insides are turned inside out;
specters of death have me down.
I shake with fear,
I shudder from head to foot.
“Who will give me wings,” I ask—
“wings like a dove?”
Get me out of here on dove wings;
I want some peace and quiet.
I want a walk in the country,
I want a cabin in the woods.
I’m desperate for a change
from rage and stormy weather.
9-11 Come down hard, Lord—slit their tongues.
I’m appalled how they’ve split the city
Into rival gangs
prowling the alleys
Day and night spoiling for a fight,
trash piled in the streets,
Even shopkeepers gouging and cheating
in broad daylight.
12-14 This isn’t the neighborhood bully
mocking me—I could take that.
This isn’t a foreign devil spitting
invective—I could tune that out.
It’s you! We grew up together!
You! My best friend!
Those long hours of leisure as we walked
arm in arm, God a third party to our conversation.
15 Haul my betrayers off alive to hell—let them
experience the horror, let them
feel every desolate detail of a damned life.
16-19 I call to God;
God will help me.
At dusk, dawn, and noon I sigh
deep sighs—he hears, he rescues.
My life is well and whole, secure
in the middle of danger
Even while thousands
are lined up against me.
God hears it all, and from his judge’s bench
puts them in their place.
But, set in their ways, they won’t change;
they pay him no mind.
20-21 And this, my best friend, betrayed his best friends;
his life betrayed his word.
All my life I’ve been charmed by his speech,
never dreaming he’d turn on me.
His words, which were music to my ears,
turned to daggers in my heart.
22-23 Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—
he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.
He’ll never let good people
topple into ruin.
But you, God, will throw the others
into a muddy bog,
Cut the lifespan of assassins
and traitors in half.
And I trust in you.
TRUTH: “Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. David has been betrayed by his best friend and advisor. The anger and hurt is very hard to bear. He needs God to help him. He “shudders at the mean voice” of hurt and betrayal. He humbles himself before God in complete trust. And God is there.
David reveals four possible approaches to handling the painful problems and battles of life; We can look within at our own feelings, look beyond to run for safe refuge, look only at the circumstances, OR, look to God and trust Him.
What will you choose?
Proverb 19:9-12, The Message
The person who tells lies gets caught;
the person who spreads rumors is ruined.
10 Blockheads shouldn’t live on easy street
any more than workers should give orders to their boss.
11 Smart people know how to hold their tongue;
their grandeur is to forgive and forget.
12 Mean-tempered leaders are like mad dogs;
the good-natured are like fresh morning dew.
WISDOM: Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget.
Our feelings get out of control when we react and respond to changes in negative ways without first coming to you for help. So, here we are humbly asking for Your help. Nothing is impossible with You. Nothing goes unnoticed by you. We need you every hour. Every hour of every day we need you. My faith and trust are in you. My life is in you. My hope lies in you alone. Thank you for always being there for me. “Yet, will I praise you” in good times and bad. Help us to adjust and grow in your character in challenging times knowing you are always there to help us through it all. Thank you, Lord.
In Jesus Name, Amen
*The “mean voice” is the voice of evil and his army. Let us avoid being the voice for evil. Be the mouthpiece for God’s voice!