Thursday, July 28, 2011

What are you waiting for?

The news this week is heavy. Words like "Somalia, debt crisis, Oslo, jury, Libya, and unemployment" have literally carried the weight of the world. Closer to home words like "school year, division, leaving, and frustration" carry the weight of our small world. Psalm 39 gives words to those who suffer when they get to the place where they need to cry out God. When you're there, the Psalmist David gives us words.

Suffering reminds us of how short earthly life is.

Associated Press Photo
After trying to guard his ways around oppressors so as not to sin, having his distress grow anyways, and then finally needing to let off some steam ...  "the sufferer" asks, "For what do I wait?"

When suffering takes us to the place where we long for an explanation and some relief, we may find ourselves just waiting ... waiting and not even sure what we're really waiting for. I imagine that today some people are waiting for food, justice, protection, peace, logic, cooperation, and unity. Ultimately, though, we are waiting on God to act.

David puts words in our mouth to find out what we're waiting for: "Make me know my end and what is the measure of my days, let me know how fleeting I am!" (v.4)

In other words, "I don't want to waste my life bogged down in turmoil and empty pursuits. Put this life into perspective for me."
  • Sometimes suffering is due to my own foolishness. v.1,11
  • Sometimes suffering is due to God's discipline. v.10-11
  • Sometimes suffering is due to evil people. v.1,2
  • Sometimes suffering is due to life in a fallen world. 4-6
When we need to cry out in our suffering, we need to cry out to God!  He hears the cry of the sufferer whether it comes from a famine in Somalia, a homeless family in the Midwest, a parent at the bedside of their sick child, or a young friend at a funeral. Suffering reminds us that life here is fleeting, and it invites us to call out to the Father of our heavenly home.

I am a sojourner here (v.12), a "guest," the Psalmist says. Heaven is my real home.

Even in the midst of suffering, this helps us know we can "smile again" (v.13). There is hope for deliverance in God.  There is hope for now in the midst of the suffering and hope for our future. If you're hearing the news and you're like me, then you might need some perspective. Suffering reminds us of how short earthly life is. Suffering here helps us look to the heavenly.

Is God using suffering in your life right now to turn you to the heavenly? 

Read Psalm 39 here. 

2 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Shanda Oakley said...

I'm a firm believer that suffering brings us back to God.  Glad I found you.  My twitter recommended you!

Julie_Sanders said...

Well Shanda I'm so glad you found me too!  Thanks to Twitter ;)  It's so hard to "see it" in the midst of the suffering, but the pain is really meant to make us cling to our Heavenly Father. It's so easy to cling to something else "nearby" in our world, but only He is worth leaning on hard.

Julie Sanders