The God Who Hears Our Cries
I love the psalms! When I have a time that I just can't seem to connect to God, and it feels like my prayers just bounce against the ceiling and back down, I read the psalms aloud as my prayer, and I feel the wall dissolve and His arms of love embrace me! So it is no surprise that the experience is not unique to me, and that the psalms are central to the daily prayers of so many Christians through the centuries and across the globe, as they are also central to the prayers of the Jews.
Just imagine the training in intimacy with God that David got as a young shepherd boy in his isolation and fear and responsibility. He had no one else to protect him . . . no one else to comfort him . . . no one else to entertain him . . . no one else to be his companion and friend. And in that time, David learned that God Himself draws near to those who will let Him do so, and that there was no better protection, no better comfort, no better entertainment, and no sweeter companion or friend. And then God led Him out from the wilderness into the spotlight, gathered followers around him, and led him into a position of leadership . . . and David was able to walk through all of that from the perspective of the intimacy with God that had been built in the wilderness alone with the sheep so many years earlier!
God knows the places I lack character and integrity, and He calls me on them and heals me and changes me. Through all of that I have the comfort that "God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners" and so how much more do I have His faithful love and care and discipline now that I am marked as His disciple!
And still there are many places each day where I do my best to be obedient and healthy, but others call me on being foolish and sick. I cannot ignore them, but also cannot always agree with them. Our perspectives are different, and who is to say what is the "right" perspective -- God's perspective? But still I have the assurance that "Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely", and that all in the context of an explanation of what it is to walk in real agape love!
So I will walk on today, in fellowship with Him and in fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ, and trust that He is indeed "able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return." And as I pray through the concepts of the prayer the Lord taught his disciples to pray, I hear with each phrase the benediction that the writer of the letter to the Hebrews bestowed upon them and that Jesus Himself bestows daily upon each one of us: "Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen."
I rejoice to know that the same is true for each one of you who call out to Him! He is indeed the God Who hears our cries!