THE THRILL OF HOPE, THE WEARY WORLD REJOICES
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Read: Psalm 80:1-7
Restore us O God of hosts, "let your face shine, that we be saved". This is the petition that repeats throughout Psalm 80:1-16.
As humans our pleas and bargaining with God are never ending. When left to our own devices, we court trouble, whether it be in biblical times after crossing the Egyptian desert or during the fall of Assyria; or, in today's mix of political infighting, growing inflation and gun violence. During suffering, our prayers to the almighty tend to come fast and furious. And, in our desperate petition for mercy, we imagine that we have a seat at God's table to negotiate. In fact, we become the sheep who expect the shepherd to do our bidding.
And yes, God is the shepherd. As the ultimate caregiver and protector, he is responsible for the welfare of his flock. Even when we are experiencing the opposite of blessing, as his sheep, we can always call on him. We need God’s presence in our lives, and prayer is that connection. It opens our hearts to him, by sharing what matters most to us. Drawing closer to God reaffirms that we are loved and never alone.
But, at the same time, we must also get it through our thick skulls that the only way to help our situation here on earth is through salvation. And no amount of prayer will bring God’s favor because God’s favor is a gift. It is only by his grace, and armed with his goodness, that we can live for the Lord, safe and secure, in this often dark, distracting world.
Lord, help us to understand that we can only find peace on earth when our minds and hearts are filled with you. Amen.