The Psalms also help those of us who have circumstances that leave one wondering where God is and what he’s up to. I have a friend who is facing a potentially catastrophic health crisis. He and his family are rightfully terrified. People face terrible things. If all the Psalms talked about were the awesome times, we might find small comfort in them. Take for example Psalm 89.
I will sing of the Lord’s loyal love forever.
I will proclaim your faithfulness
with my own mouth
from one generation to the next.
2 That’s why I say,
“Your loyal love is rightly built—forever!
You establish your faithfulness in heaven.” Psalm 89:1-2 CEB
“Fantastic,” my friend might think. “The Lord’s faithfulness is sitting up in heaven doing me absolutely NO good as I face a life threatening health condition.” In fairness, my friend and his family said no such thing. They have a different perspective on faithfulness.
Here’s what I hope we can remember about these first two verses: we must do the hard work of looking for how God’s loyal love and faithfulness show up in our lives AND we may discover that we are part of the plan for making that happen in the life of another.
Here’s my friend’s perspective: “What I’ve learned is that God hasn’t promised me a cure. But he has shown us as a community how to be with those who suffer. Maybe I’m going to get a reprieve; maybe I’m not. But I know my community is charged with the work of reflecting loyal love and faithfulness, so I am not as freaked out as you might think about this situation.”
I love my friend and his perspective; isn’t it awesome that he has this attitude about community?