So what do we do when we’re tempted to lose hope? Tempted to let go of the tender thread that we’ve really only been hanging onto by our fingernails anyways? When there just seems to be NO WAY around the dreadful circumstances you find yourself faced with?
I gotta be honest…the last thing I usually feel like doing is joining hands and singing “Kum-bye-ya” or nodding along as a well-meaning friend assures me that “everything’s going to work out” (which usually feels like code for “I don’t really want to get too involved with your life details so I’m going to give you the bless-God-Christian answer”).
And then I ran across this verse in the book of Psalms (written by a guy who was never one to mince words with God):
O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel. ~Psalm 22:2-3
Other versions translate verse 3 like this:
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Here’s David, spilling his heart out to God, basically saying, “I’m crying my guts out to You, God, and I’m getting nothing back! Where are you?” Complete honesty and vulnerability. Feeling abandoned by God.
Ever been there? Ever felt like your prayers are stopping short at the rooftops? Sometimes it helps to simply know that you’re not the only one who has ever felt that way. I know it’s easy for me to talk myself into a state of Crazytown, feeling like I’m surely the only human in all of creation who prays the prayers-that-are-never-heard. And then I read David’s journal and feel like, just maybe, Crazytown is a little further away than I thought it was.
And yet, David doesn’t stop with simply shaking his fist at God. He takes a deep breath, and the next word out of his mouth shows the gradual shifting of his heart:
YET…you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
One of the most beautiful words for the hope-seeker.
When everything points to a different conclusion, when feelings and circumstances seem to betray the God-Who-will-never-leave-us, THAT’S the pivotal moment when we must remind ourselves of the YET.
Yet…He is Holy. He is enthroned on and dwells in the praises of His people. That’s us. Our praise, even when we don’t feel like it (especially when we don’t feel like it), makes a home for Christ in our lives. It makes Him welcome in the Crazytown of our life. It releases His Spirit to go to work, making himself at home in the difficult circumstances, going ahead of us and fighting battles that we have yet to face.
So go ahead and be honest with Christ. Tell Him how you’re really feeling. He can take it. Matter of fact, he already knows.
Just don’t forget to remind yourself of the YET. Because the Truth is in the YET. He is holy. He is enthroned on our praises. And when He’s on the throne of our lives, those big things become much smaller.