(pic of Grandma\’s Birthday brunch. L to R: Emily (our daughter), Grandma, Mom and Nels)
A couple of days ago, my stepfather, Nels, was taken to the emergency room and is now in intensive care in Minneapolis. His medical problem is that somehow, he has too much prescription medication in his system….essentially he has been poisoned. His kidneys are in trouble and there is a chance they will not recover (he may need dialysis til his dying day). His memory and thinking are severely clouded and impaired…hopefully his mind will recover fully, can\’t say for sure right now. The unknown in all of this looms larger than life. Quite unfortunately, this is only one of multiple crises he and Mom are going through right now. If you feel led, please say a prayer for them.
The temptation in all of this is to rehash it in my mind umpteen times and let it breed fear. Sidle up to sleepless nights, worry without end, linger on the \”what ifs\”, get angry at the doctors for not figuring out he was in trouble the first two times Mom brought him in, get angry at the doctor who didn\’t regularly monitor his blood levels, etc. I know all of these avenues of dealing with things intimately. I\’ve been there and done worry, fear, anger…oh yeah, been there done that.
In prayer, often the knee jerk reaction is to come before God hoping to win his favor and asking politely for healing. Be a good child, speak softly and hope He grants our request. Humility is a gift and not to be shunned, but if this approach isn\’t reflecting our heart, then we\’re faking it, aren\’t we? We\’re without integrity before God…Yuk! He sees right through it and no doubt wonders whether we really trust Him with our truth–our truth that is riddled with fear, anger, frustration, sorrow, worry and the like.
Thankfully, years ago, I learned there is a better way to go. God opened the Psalms to me during some of my darkest days and these precious gems opened new avenues of approaching God. They gave me permission to be real before God. Why? Because many of them are bold faced, no faking it prayers to God. If we take a peek, we see many, many emotions expressed in addressing God; nothing is tucked away because it is deemed irreverent or whiney. All that is within is planted before God and He gets to sort it out, gets to bring healing to the places that need healing, gets to root out the anger, gets to bring comfort to the mourning heart, gets to bring peace to the worried mind, gets to bring hope where none exists.
Funny, at the end of the Psalms that give God a tongue lashing is almost always a section of praise. Seems once all is poured out of us and is laid before Him, there is room for joy, praise, glimpsing His holiness, His great love for us. He has an uncanny way of meeting us in our most real moments before Him. He takes in what we dish out, grateful we trust Him enough to give it to Him straight. He doesn\’t stand afar and tap His toes waiting for the rant to end; instead He moves toward us and wraps His arms around us. These moments can be some of the most intimate times with God. Don\’t trust my judgment on this…read the Psalms and then try it, see for yourself.
I\’ve spent the last 45 minutes looking for a Psalm to print here, not one has jumped off the page. Once I stopped looking, I think I heard God saying that if I printed one here, you may miss the one He has in store for you… Go ahead, take a peek…Psalms, in most Bibles is just about smack dab in the middle. Online versions also exist. My favorite online Bible search website is http://www.biblegateway.com. It allows you to read the Bible in different translations, which can also bring the text to life in a way maybe previously missed.
Praying you\’ll find your Psalm a blessing…