Everyday Awe

“Why have you forsaken me?”

Artist: Edvard Munch Source: WikiPaintings

Artist: Edvard Munch
Source: WikiPaintings

Is all this really necessary?
This cross? This consequence borne by Christ?

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

Things are not that bad.
Are they?

We can only grasp a fraction
Of the immense weight
Crashing down upon Jesus
That day.

The unimaginable burden
Of not only our individual misdeeds
Or our personal omissions,
But the iniquities
And atrocities
Of generation
upon generation
upon generation.
The entirety of wickedness
Since evil invaded the world.

The sin of human history
Creating a distance beyond our understanding.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Christ is forsaken.
Dropped in the chasm
Of overflowing corpses.
The bodies of those who have been massacred.
The hundreds murdered every day.
Every day.
For years stacked upon decades stacked upon centuries.

Christ is forsaken.
Adrift in the gulf
Of echoing wails.
The cries of those sexually assaulted.
Every two minutes.
Over
And over
And over again.
Shrieking in their violation and pain.

Christ is forsaken.
Standing in the abyss
Between oppressor and oppressed.
Taking the beatings of the millions,
Millions,
Who have been
And are
And will be
Imprisoned, exploited, and enslaved.

Christ is forsaken.
Experiencing the void
Of lost generations.
Entire people groups wiped out
When neighbor turns against neighbor
When former friends slaughter one another
As nations collapse into genocide.

It’s too much.
It’s all too much.

Too much for us to hold.
Too vast for us to grasp.

This is the great burden borne by Christ.
Taking iniquities beyond imagination
Upon the only shoulders broad enough to carry them
And loving enough to be crushed by their weight.

From the chasm of evil,
For the sake of humanity,
Jesus cries out,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”


This is another reflection I wrote for my church’s Good Friday service. In honor of this day of waiting, as we sit in the waiting space before the resurrection, it feels appropriate to continue pondering Christ’s death. I hope it helps you do that today.

“I am thirsty.”

“I am thirsty,” is a most ordinary phrase.
For to thirst
Is to be human.

christ-on-the-cross-1856(1)

Artist: Eugene Delacroix Source: WikiPaintings

Jesus is human.
The only human to ever be so by choice.
Human at a time the rest of us would have chosen
Any other path than the one He walked.

For to be fully human
Is to fully experience
The agony of it all.

Jesus declares, “I am thirsty.”

Did His thirst begin in the garden the night before?
When His heart broke into tears
And His mouth filled with the bitter taste of betrayal.
When the kiss of a friend
Was used to stab Him in the back.

How parched did His mouth become
as the night dragged on with accusations?
When His tongue waited
And restrained itself from words of defense.
When the only water offered to Him
Was the spit spattered across His face.

How dry was His throat
When His lips were up against that post
and the liquid ran red from His back?
When the metal ends of a whip
Ripped through His flesh
Again
And again
And again
And again.

Was there any water left for His tears
When thorns pierced His brow?
When blow
After blow
After blow
Drove the sign of the curse
Deeper and deeper
Into the only head capable of bearing its burden.

How did He long for relief
When the heavy weight of that wooden beam
Was placed upon His cracked-open shoulders?
When nails went through His wrists
And pain shot like lightning up His arms.
When His knees were forced outward
So His feet could be hammered like a piece of lumber.

How did Jesus feel His frailty,
When He was hung
Naked
Upon that appalling tree?
When He chose to be human
In the midst of public humiliation
And unimaginable suffering.

How did He gasp and sputter
As His body reached for the life that was being drained from it?
When His arms pulled out from their joints
And pushed His lungs to the point of collapse.
When the One who breathed the earth into being
Struggled now to simply exhale.

Labored breathing.
Excruciating pain.
Agonizing thirst.

As God,
Jesus could have blocked the torture,
Pushed away the suffering,
Stopped the death.
As human,
Jesus chose to face the torment,
Endure the anguish,
Experience the death.

“I am thirsty.”
This was Jesus’ declaration of humanity
And His demonstration of love.


I wrote this reflection for the Good Friday service at my church. In honor of the day, I also wanted to share it with you here. 

Giving Up… My Hope for Greatness

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It’s shocking to read the conversation around the table of the last supper of Christ.

Christ breaks the bread, and foreshadows how His body will be brutally broken. He lifts the cup, and looks ahead to how His blood will be viciously shed. He looks around, and declares how His friends, now sitting with Him, will betray and abandon Him.

Sadness, vulnerability, and love infuse these words of Christ.

How will His disciples respond? With humility and brokenness? With compassion and gratefulness?

No.

“Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them.” –Luke 22:24

What?!?

I want to judge them. I do judge them. How could they be so blind? So callous? So unaware of what was really going on?

And yet.

I can hear the rational elements of the conversation.

Okay, Jesus. If you are leaving, who is going to take your place? I mean, we’ve built all this forward momentum. Remember last week when you were coming into the city? All the crowds gathered with those branches? We have to capitalize on that. Your message is so important. How can we keep it spreading?

You’ve developed us. We are ready. That’s what good leaders do, right? Pour into the next group to take their place?

It sounds logical. It could even sound holy. The hope to use our gifts. To fulfill our callings. To spread good news. To bring healing and hope to the world.

But often, there is another desire, lingering below the surface. The hope that along the way, there might just be a little greatness to be found for ourselves.

At least, that’s what happens to me.

Sometimes it’s because of the way my selfish ambition intermingles with my God-given dreams. But most of the time, if I’m honest, it’s something else.

My desire for greatness stems from my longing for validation.

I hope for the kind of affirmation that might finally silence the questions clouding my inner mind. Am I really any good at this? Do people value me? Is my voice important? What difference am I really making in this world?

Like the disciples, I miss the point that Jesus made over and over and over again.

Take up your cross and follow Me.
I didn’t come to be served, but to serve.
Whoever loses his life will find it.
Don’t gain the world and lose your soul.
Whoever wants to become great, should become the least.

Greatness {whatever that even means} will never validate me. It is a food that will only make me hungrier; especially if it’s the satisfaction I crave most.

My significance is not based on how many people share my words. My value is not based on how many wonderful things I have done in the world. My importance is not based on how many people I lead.

It’s possible to seek all these makers of greatness “in the name of Christ” and miss the message of Christ all together.

Jesus breaks bread and says it is through His body we will never be hungry. Jesus pours wine and says it is through His blood we will never be thirsty.

Our Jesus deems us worth dying for. That is our validation. That is our greatness. That is why we serve.

Christ’s love is our satisfaction.


Giving Up… is a Lenten Series asking a question: What if we gave up more than external things for Lent? It’s not a belief that we can get rid of our baggage as easily as we can write a blog post. But, it is a belief that admitting those things that keep us from deeper intimacy with Christ is a good start. {Please note, this isn’t in any way meant to be a critique of those giving up something external. Often that is connected to the internal in a powerful way. In my case, though, I realized that the external sacrifice was hindering me from dealing with what was going on below the surface.}

A Holy Week Juxtaposition

I read this psalm about the power
And greatness of our God
The same week I am thinking about the humiliation
And suffering of our King.

The juxtaposition is palpable.

“Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes on every side.” – Psalm 97:3

Sometimes.
Except for the day His Son was surrounded
And there was no fire to be seen.
Only the silent restraint
Of a God that replaces sending fire
With receiving lashes
For the sake of His beloveds.

“His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.” – Psalm 97:4

Sometimes.
Except for the day darkness covered the earth
And there was no lightning to be seen.
Only the sacrifice
Of a God who replaces trembling subjects
With a buckling body
His own Son crushed
By the weight of His beloveds’ sins.

“The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.” –Psalm 97:5

Sometimes.
Except for the day the empire seemed to win
And there was no melting to be seen.
Only the weakness
Of a Messiah who seemed to perish
Before the wrath of a nation.
His beloveds left wondering
If they got it all wrong.

For they didn’t know the subversive truth
That strength given up
For the sake of another
Is the most powerful force of all.

Psalm 97


That was my reflection on Psalm 97. Link up with your own reflection below. Or stop back next week for a reflection on Psalm 98.

Giving Up… The Finish Line

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I was so frustrated.

I couldn’t believe it happened again. This week. The week my therapist and I ended our sessions (for now) because of how much better I’ve been doing. This week, when Monday my feet felt so firmly planted in the “after” of this whole journey of knowing my identity and learning to be.

But after Monday, Tuesday came.

I sat in a meeting in which a few little things added up to make me feel out of place. Then that out of place feeling grew to an angsty feeling, and I found myself going into that night questioning and uncertain about my role, my calling, and my value in this great big beautiful Kingdom of God.

I thought I was past all that.

{Hey friends and family. Guess what? I got a tattoo! Sorry if this is the first you are hearing about it…}

{Hey friends and family. Guess what? I got a tattoo! Sorry if this is the first you are hearing about it…}

Seriously. I’ve been writing about all this stuff I’ve given up, and I’ve really been doing it. I’ve told people about how I feel like such a different person than I was six months ago. I mean, last week I got a tattoo celebrating this sense of freedom and new identity in Christ.

Among the many questions swirling through my mind and emotions was this one: how did I end up back here so quickly?

I was quick to assume that falling one step back meant I had regressed all the way to the beginning. It felt that way because, even though I wouldn’t have admitted this out loud, I thought I was done. I thought I had crossed some imaginary finish line.

If you think you’ve finished a race, any fall backwards can make you feel like a failure.

The problem is not the back step; it’s the feeling there’s a finish line.

The word “journey” becomes an overused metaphor in the Christian life for a reason. Journeys meander. They are not as much about getting from point A to point B as they are about experiencing what comes to you along the way.

I didn’t really go back to the beginning. I can tell the feelings of angst that arose did not rock me as deeply as they once did. This back step was not a failure, but another point on the journey.

In the Old Testament story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1, she is distraught by her childless condition. She wrestles and prays and breaks some rules on her journey of surrender to God’s will.

When Hannah finally shares her heart with Eli, our English Bibles translate his reply as, “Go in peace.” But his words could also, and perhaps more accurately, be translated, “Walk towards wholeness.”

Walk towards wholeness.

It’s not about arriving. Or snapping our fingers and getting it all figured out. Or reaching a conclusion and being done. We can’t actually reach that kind of decisive end, as hard as we might strive or wish or struggle to get there.

All we can do is walk towards wholeness on the path of God’s grace.


Giving Up… is a Lenten Series asking a question: What if we gave up more than external things for Lent? It’s not a belief that we can get rid of our baggage as easily as we can write a blog post. But, it is a belief that admitting those things that keep us from deeper intimacy with Christ is a good start. {Please note, this isn’t in any way meant to be a critique of those giving up something external. Often that is connected to the internal in a powerful way. In my case, though, I realized that the external sacrifice was hindering me from dealing with what was going on below the surface.}

Ascribe

Psalm 96

The first time the word appears is in the early parts of Genesis.

“Come,” the people say to one another. Let’s build this great building. Let’s do this big thing. Let’s make a name for ourselves.

They are strong, and it only leaves them wanting for more power.

——
The next time the word appears is many years down the road, also in Genesis.

“Give,” Jacob says to Laban. Give me Rachel so I may have sex with her. You are holding her back. It is time to honor your promise.

He has worked for what he desires and he can’t wait any longer to get it.

——
This word appears again in Psalm 96.

Ascribe,” the Psalmist tells us. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name.

God does not desire an ascription of glory because He is narcissist, and doesn’t want to share His attention with anyone else.

Nor does God desire the ascription of glory because He is self-conscious, and needs the affirmation that comes with praise in order to feel good about Himself.

One definition of “ascribe” in English is ‘to think of as belonging.”

God desires for us to ascribe to Him the glory due His name because that is where the glory belongs.

When we ascribe glory to ourselves, we drown in the waters of desire, as we seek to quench our insatiable thirsts for more and better and bigger.

——
This Psalm is not a demand. It’s an invitation.

It is an invitation that welcomes us each day to live differently than we did the day before.

It is an invitation to feel God’s mercies in a fresh way. To give up the shackles of striving and pushing our way into getting others to ascribe us the value we want. To live in the freedom of giving God the glory He deserves.

1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.

7 Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his[a] holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.

11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.

- Psalm 96


That was my reflection on Psalm 96. Link up with your thoughts below. Stop back next week for a reflection on Psalm 97.

Giving Up… Best

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I stood at the Marta station of the Atlanta airport, staring at the options for which pass to purchase for my two-day trip. I wanted to make sure to get the right one, the best one, for my needs. The unlimited pass seemed excessive, since we would primarily just go to the hotel and back. And what about the ten-pass? Would we need to hop on and off that many times, or would the single ride make the most sense?

I stood, and deliberated, for an unnecessary amount of time. I was paralyzed for minutes in a decision that should have taken seconds.

I get stuck in the muck of my desire, in all times, in all places, with all people, to always make the best decision possible.

“Do your best” is a phrase infused with the power to motivate or debilitate, depending on the circumstance, tone, and relationship. And often, depending on the frequency with which it is uttered.

And for whatever reason, my wiring whispers “do your best” in my ears when I am making transportation decisions at the airport, when I am writing a sentence in a blog post, when I am leading a meeting, when I am asking my kids a questions, and when I am loading the bowls into dishwasher. Basically, I hear it All. The. Time.

Make the best decision. Show your best creativity. Do your best work.

Whispered once, “do your best” can be a motivating force. Repeated incessantly, it becomes a debilitating weight.

The word “best” has no meaning if it can’t be compared to another word. Best is a superlative. By it’s very nature, best can’t be a description of normal ordinary.

Why does ordinary feel so scary?

I don’t want to let people down.

This desire to please people goes deeper than fear of failure; the root is what lies beneath those fears: my understanding of my own belovedness. I can’t wrap my brain, emotions, and actions around the truth that I am loved when I am not at my best.

I crush myself under the burden of best when I don’t feel the grace of unconditional Love.

I have been meditating on the book, Surrender to Love by David G. Benner. In it, he says,

“While some people fear any love, what most of us resist is unconditional love- perfect love… I am willing to accept measured doses of love as long as it doesn’t upset the basic framework of my world. That framework is built on the assumption that people get what they deserve… What humans want is to earn the love we seek.”

So many times in our spiritual life, our problems go back to the same simple question: are we secure in our identities as God’s beloveds?

Our security cannot come from how we are loved by other humans. Love from people, even those most precious to us, will let us down from time to time.

Without realizing it, many of us use our broken human experiences as a lens through which we interpret God’s love.

We read verses about the good work we are supposed to do as Christ-followers, and fill them with obligations of all we should do, all we need to do, in order to honor God.

But that is not the lens of love.

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8

Yes, we will do good work as Christ-followers. Maybe even our best work sometimes. But verses like these never say, “you should.”

The Christian life is not about striving; it is about receiving. God’s love is offered to us without condition. It is pure, perfect, and generous.

“For GOD is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever.” – Psalm 100:5

This Divine Love is what giving up is really about. When we give up the filters, labels, worry, control, striving, and anything else we are grasping tight against our chests, we open ourselves up to receive the Love that can truly change us.

“genuinely encountering Love is not the same s inviting Jesus into your heart, joining or attending a church, or doing what Jesus commands. It is the experience of love that is transformational. You simply cannot bask in divine love and not be affected.” – David G. Benner


Giving Up… is a Lenten Series asking a question: What if we gave up more than external things for Lent? It’s not a belief that we can get rid of our baggage as easily as we can write a blog post. But, it is a belief that admitting those things that keep us from deeper intimacy with Christ is a good start. {Please note, this isn’t in any way meant to be a critique of those giving up something external. Often that is connected to the internal in a powerful way. In my case, though, I realized that the external sacrifice was hindering me from dealing with what was going on below the surface.}

Come. Notice. Worship.

psalm 95Sometimes I forget the power of getting outside.

Especially in the deep freeze of a Minnesota winter, when none of us have any desire to get out from under our blankets.

Though, I think weather conditions become more of an excuse than an actual reason. In actuality, it’s my busyness with other things that keeps me away.

Something changes when I go to the cabin with my family. Without solid cell phone or Internet access, social media streams aren’t able to pull my eyes and grab my attention. Without my own house and laundry pile and dishes and paperwork surrounding me, my to-do list isn’t able to plague me with feelings of what I “should” be doing today.

At the cabin, the wonder of the worlds beckons me, and I have the space to notice.

I notice the delicate beauty of bark peeling back its hold from around the tree. I notice the magnificent hues of a strikingly blue sky. I notice how the rays of the sun reflect off the snow in the winter and the water in the summer, causing a different dance of light in each season.

Psalm 95 (2) (1)I worship through my noticing. I become keenly aware of the imagination of our Creator, and without conscious effort, fill with gratitude.

I have the ability to notice back home, too. But I don’t. My noticing is pushed out by other obligations, and some of my gratitude and worship get shoved out with it.

And so the writer of Psalm 95 shouts to me

“Come”

He shouts to all of us

“Let us sing for joy to the Lord.”

Why?

“For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.” – Psalm 95:2-5

Stepping outside and noticing our creation points us to an incredible Maker. A Maker who is powerful and artistic and beyond what we can imagine.

And then, it points us to the most fantastic part. That Maker is not just a god. He is not just a creator. The Maker of the earth is the Lord. He is OUR God. He is OUR Maker.

“Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.” – Psalm 95:6-7

Leave your computer. The outside world and the Psalmist are calling to you.

Come. Notice. Worship.


That was my reflection on Psalm 95. Link up with your thoughts below. Stop back next week for a reflection on Psalm 96. (I’m getting so close to 100! Woo hoo! Blogging through 100 Psalms feels like a big accomplishment.)

Giving Up… Control

Lent Series ButtonWhen I was in 5th grade, I brought the Chronicles of Narnia series with me on a road trip to Yellowstone National Park.

Lucy, Edmund, Peter, Susan, and Eustace were my companions as the South Dakota landscape traveled through my car window, and the sounds of New Kids on the Block traveled into my ears from my Walkman.

I read and reread the series many times in my childhood, adolescence, and even my adulthood. Their bindings are worn and falling apart from the years of keeping me company.

I have been on a journey this year of learning how to BE, my One Word 365. The way this word is embedding itself into my life and soul has been more difficult and more beautiful than I ever imagined. I have searched for metaphors and comparisons to describe it, and have come up short.

Until a friend compared me to Eustace.

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Eustace makes a choice that leads to him becoming a dragon. He had a bracelet on at the time, which is too small for his thick dragon arms. The arm ring cuts deep into his skin, and gets more and more painful over time.

Eustace is miserable. He was never meant to be a dragon.

One night, Aslan, the Lion, the Creator and Savior and Lover of Narnia, finds Eustace sitting in his pain. And leads him to a well, a clear and beautiful bath, which he knew could heal him.

But Eustace couldn’t get in the pool until he got his dragon skin off.

He scratched and some scales came off, then he scratched again and a whole later came off, then he scratched again and another fell to the ground. But it was never enough.

Eustace tried and tried and tried, but he couldn’t take off his dragon skin on his own.

If he wanted to become himself again, he needed help.

He needed Aslan.

“I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt…

He peeled the beastly stuff right off- just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt- and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me- I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on- and threw me into the water.”

This is the picture of the painful grace of my life right now. My heart is sore from the merciful peeling God has been doing to my heart. But the sting is absolutely and completely worth it.

I have always been an achiever. So for years I have been trying hard to be different. Striving to be authentic. Working to be vulnerable.

I know these characteristics are important. And I really, really want them to be true of me.

So I have been scratching and pulling and working to peel back the layers and find my true self underneath.

But the solution isn’t to try harder. The solution is to give up.

I needed to learn to give up control.

Only Aslan has the power to clear the dragon skin from my heart. But it is so so scary, to lay down, back to the ground, in full trust of whatever He needs to do to make that happen.

But I am learning to give up my fear, give up my control, and lean into the trust that my God loves me, my God is with me, and my God is leading me to the wellspring of healing.


Giving Up… is a Lenten Series asking a question: What if we gave up more than external things for Lent? It’s not a belief that we can get rid of our baggage as easily as we can write a blog post. But, it is a belief that admitting those things that keep us from deeper intimacy with Christ is a good start. {Please note, this isn’t in any way meant to be a critique of those giving up something external. Often that is connected to the internal in a powerful way. In my case, though, I realized that the external sacrifice was hindering me from dealing with what was going on below the surface.}

What do we do with vengeance Psalms? Here are 4 ideas.

Psalm 94 is one of those sections of Scripture that you run across and wonder what to do with it.

I mean, it starts with the address, “O LORD, the God of vengeance.”

That’s not usually how I begin my prayers. God of love? Sure. God of grace? Definitely. God of vengeance? Not so much.

Just a wild guess, but I’m thinking I’m not alone in that one.

So if you are like me, what do you do with Psalms like these? Psalms that feel prickly, archaic, and detached from the faith we practice day in and day out?

What do we do with vengeance Psalms? Here are a few things that come to mind as I read Psalm 94.

1. Pray their words.

Yup, I know it sounds crazy, but maybe we need to pray some words like these more often. In my middle class, comfortable, suburban American life, it’s easy for me to lose touch with the groaning of this tired and broken world.

But this world does groan, doesn’t it?

“all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering.” –Romans 8:22-23

And if we are in touch with this reality, shouldn’t we groan, too? Shouldn’t we cry out to our Lord along with the Psalmist,

“How long, O LORD?
How long will the wicked be allowed to gloat?
How long will they speak with arrogance?
How long will these evil people boast?” –Psalm 94:3-4

In crying out, we lean into our faith that God will one day make things right. And oh, how beautiful that day will be.

2. Wrestle with their words.

There are phrases in psalms like these that make my hair stand on end.

“He punishes the nations—won’t he also punish you?
He knows everything—doesn’t he also know what you are doing?
The LORD knows people’s thoughts;
he knows they are worthless!” –Psalm 94:10-11

But instead of running away from that yucky feeling, what if we move towards it? What if we research what was going on at the time and place in which they were written? What if we looked for threads that could still be true today?

Maybe looking for answers would do more to strengthen our faith than to weaken it.

Psalm 943. Find comfort in their words.

Most Psalms are not filled with only one emotion. In the midst of frustrated cries for justice and vengeance, the Psalmist still manages to cry out with words of hope.

“I cried out, “I am slipping!”
but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me.
When doubts filled my mind,
your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” – Psalm 94:18-19

I love that picture of God supporting us while we slip. (In fact, it reminds me of what I wrote about last week!)

4. Find God in their words.

There’s an important characteristic of God shown throughout all the Psalms, perhaps vengeance Psalms more than any other:

God’s unconditional love for us can be trusted.

It is safe to bring our whole selves, our honest selves, and our hidden selves, before God.

This Psalm, and others like it, doesn’t clarify the theological accuracy or morality of its requests. But it does clarify the character of God hearing the requests.

God does not shy away from our human emotions, weakness, selfishness, frustration, or anger.

When we cry out, no matter how ugly the words, God leans in. He keeps listening. And He holds our hands. Maybe even tighter than before.


That was my reflection on Psalm 94. Link up with your own reflection below. Or stop back next week with your thoughts on Psalm 95.