Morning! It’s Jenny here.
It’s ‘back to school’ Monday, so before getting started on this today, I’ve made sure my son is vertical, and consuming breakfast early enough to login to ‘school’ at 9am. I’ve also got dressed and eaten breakfast myself, washed up, and remembered to take some sausages out the freezer for tea. I’ve even (after buying the tub of dye about 4 months ago… maybe more) finally put a few items of clothing in the washing machine to turn them from grey/brown back to black.
Now that all that is done, I’m turning my attention back to the Psalms of David. Today we’re going to look Psalm 142. Now’s your chance to grab a Bible and have a read through.
Do you have people on your Facebook friends list that make you feel a bit inadequate at the best of times? They are the ones who always seem to be on top of things, undertaking challenges, staying ultra fit, exploring exciting hobbies, and always seem to find time to have amazing family time where everyone is engaged and happy. I certainly have a few. My excuse for not living up to their example is that I need to sleep!
There’s certainly a few at the moment (although, interestingly, not necessarily the same people as usually make me feel inadequate – some of them have gone a bit quiet). Some people seem capable of putting aside the horror of life in times of plague, and have been galvanised into clearing gardens, painting fences, building furniture, and spending lots of structured happy times with their children…… This is not me. The bathroom that needed cleaning last week? It still needs cleaning.
I think, if David had been on Facebook, he’d have been one of those people that make me feel inadequate. Let’s just run through his life so far. At a fairly young age, he gets singled out by Samuel as a future king. He is such an amazing musician that he is called to the royal court to play for King Saul. While still too young to be in the army with his brothers, he brings down a giant with one stone and his slingshot. He’s such a successful commander in Saul’s armies, that they sing songs saying, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!”. He’s best friends with the king’s son and even marries the king’s daughter – a love match. And, as we looked at last week, even when he’s in hiding in a cave, men flock to join him.
As with a lot of the people that make me feel in adequate, the reality for David, was probably very different. Last Monday I looked at Psalm 57, written about the time he was hiding in the Cave of Adullam. We saw a David that, although in hiding, has his family around him, and a small force of men to protect him. We saw a David, whilst in fear of his life, still praising God for his faithfulness, and filling the cave with his music.
Psalm 142 was also written ‘regarding his experience in the cave’, but we see a very different David. The words talk of being overwhelmed (v3) and being ‘very low’ (v6). This David is weighed down by the situation surrounding him. This David won’t be posting positive statuses on Facebook.
The reality is that David probably had good days and bad days…… Just like you and I are probably having good days and bad days. If I can keep my current momentum, today may be a good day for me, but there are other days at the moment, where my thoughts are so focused on what’s happening outside my door, that I can’t bring my attention to any of the numerous things that I could/should be doing.
And that’s alright. If there’s one thing that this Psalm shows us, it’s alright to have bad days. I think we sometimes put undue pressure on ourselves – as Christians we should be full of light and joy, praising God, and never being negative about the world around us. But that’s unrealistic – and unhealthy. If we never have bad days, then we won’t learn how to turn to and rely on God.
David’s Psalm shows us where we should be turning when we have those bad days – To God! David pours out his complaints and tells God all his troubles (v2).
Perhaps tell God now, some of the things that are troubling you, and dragging you down.
David asks God for direction – the way he should turn (v3). Ask God to guide you today; to show you what you should be doing…. Or not doing.
David puts his faith in God as his place of refuge (v5) and his strength (v6). Perhaps be still (as Yvonne suggested last week) and feel God’s comforting presence. As you do, you may want to listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f51n-yb11dY
I hope, whether today is a good day for you – full of music and laughter – or a bad day when the weight of a world in crisis is on your shoulders, that you know God’s presence.
And as a starting point, make a cup of tea or coffee, look out your window at the spring sunshine and remember that God doesn’t judge you by your Facebook statuses!
Julia will be with you tomorrow – which always brightens my day!