Tag Archives: give thanks

Heaviness of My Soul, and Psalm 42

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, July 27, 2017

psalm 42-11 help of my countenance

Heaviness of My Soul, and Psalm 42

Have you ever been full of doubt? Downhearted, depressed and hopeless? Completely lost, with everything collapsing around you? Yeah … me, too.

That was what I dealt with for years. (Seriously, yes.) For years, I would struggle to pray, struggle with my doubts, and especially struggle with any knowledge that God was remembering me, at all. It was almost a daily struggle, for many, many months. For years, at times.

That was how the psalmist felt, too. (This psalm was written by one of the sons of Korah, so we are not sure exactly who wrote it.)

Our psalmist was of two minds as he wrote this. Sure, he told about his assurance in the Lord, and how he trusted in God. He wrote of how much the Lord would help him, and how he would pray to God regularly. On the other hand—he also poured out his heart, and confessed his doubts, his fears, his heaviness. He would mention how much his enemies oppressed him, and how far away from him he felt God was. (Yes, very far.)

And, yet … and, yet …

Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes “Whoever has found God in the cross of Jesus Christ knows how mysteriously God hides himself in this world, and how, when we believe him farthest away, he is just there beside us.” [1]

Some might call this a paradox, others might say it is the mysterious, sometimes unfathomable nature of God. Note the closing verse of Psalm 42: “Put your trust in God; for I will yet give thanks to him, who is the help of my countenance, and my God.”

I have trust in Bonhoeffer’s closing in this mini-commentary: “He will be the help of your countenance; because he knows you and loved you before he made you, He will not let you fall. You are in his hands.” [2] I take heart in this assurance. Pastor Dietrich affirmed this blessed truth. He certainly had a good deal of challenge and hardship in his life. However, he made it through his struggles and trials. Bonhoeffer continued to thank God for being there for him and with him.

Dear Lord, help me do the same. Please, Lord.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 60.

[2] Ibid, 61.

Be Thankful. No Matter What.

matterofprayer blog post for Thursday, November 28, 2013

I woke up this morning, went out to the car to do an errand, and found it had a flat tire. On Thanksgiving morning.

I was able to get the tire half-inflated, and drove over to the nearby car repair shop, which WILL be open tomorrow. However, that incident throws a monkey wrench in our Thanksgiving Day plans.

Upon reflection, that monkey wrench does not seem TOO serious. My family is currently all in one piece—no accidents or catastrophic events. We are healthy, have (lots of!) food in the refrigerator, a warm place to live, and plenty of warm clothes in our closets. It may not always be that way, but it is for right now.

I do have friends who have sick relatives, one whose sibling just died several days ago, and several more who have chronic health concerns of their own. But God can see us through. God has not failed me yet. I understand from many, many people that God hasn’t failed them, either.

I think of the verse from the first letter to the believers in Thessalonica, where Paul advises the Thessalonians to “be thankful in all circumstances.” I know that Paul was familiar with trials and tribulations in his journeys and voyages around Asia. He did not have an easy time of it, all the time, either. He also had faith that God would be with him, no matter what happened to him, where he went, or who he was with. I ought to follow the example of the Apostle Paul, instead of griping about my personal trials and tribulations. Happy Thanksgiving Day, indeed!

Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for a day set aside to give thanks. Thank You for seeing me through my various trials, just as You have been with countless believers in You, over the centuries. Dear God, be with all those who are lacking provision for their physical needs, today. Lead them to people and places that can provide for them. And thanks for the promise we have from Matthew 6, that You do provide for us, one day at a time. What a great Thanksgiving. Amen.