Footprints daily reflection: 4 April

God sees us as we are. 

Author: Reverend William Hayes

Journey through Lent with Christian Aid's series of reflections called Footprints

Bible reading

Psalm 13

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?

Psalm 13:2

Reflection

Song sung blue

Everybody knows one

Song sung blue

Every garden grows one

(Neil Diamond – Song Sung Blue)

For those of us who have suffered, or continue to suffer, from depression these words from Psalm 13 will feel all too familiar. It is, like many of the Psalms, brutally honest. One of the great things about the Psalms is that they give us the right to express before God those feelings that we might otherwise bottle up and hide away. We might say to ourselves, “I feel angry or frustrated or hopeless or deeply sad, but I can’t say that to God.” We somehow imagine that we must be very polite to the one who sees us as we are minute by minute and who knows our every thought better than we know it ourselves.

And then we encounter the honest glory of a prayer like Psalm 13.

By including prayers like this in the Bible, God tells us that we do not have to go through life pretending to him and to others that everything is OK. Sometimes life just isn’t OK. We are not always marching in the light of God!  Sometimes life is so bad that we long to cry out to God, “How long, LORD?  Will you forget me forever?”

And here is the strange thing about a Psalm like this, sometimes once we speak out the anguish, fear or disappointment in our hearts and hand it over to God we end up doing just what the Psalmist does between verse 4 and verse 5. One moment they are crying out that they will fall and the next, having spoken their fears out loud, they are declaring their trust in God’s unfailing love.

Or as Neil Diamond once put it…

Funny thing, but you can sing it with a cry in your voice

And before you know, it get to feeling good

You simply got no choice…

 

Prayer

 

Father God

Thank you that you see us as we are

Thank you that you are not shocked when we are down or afraid

You do not get frustrated at us when we are frustrated in life

We pray that you would give us light in days of darkness

We pray that you will give us joy in days of sorrow

May we have the strength to sing your praise

For you have been good to us

In Jesus name we pray. 

Amen.


Bio

Rev William Hayes is minister of Mountmellick and Tullamore Presbyterian Churches in counties Laois and Offaly, Ireland.

 

Something to watch 

Our CEO, Rosamond Bennett talks about how she has been finding comfort from the Psalms during this difficult time.