Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday Morning Meds--A Soul's Refusal

When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; 
at night I stretched out untiring hands 
and my soul refused to be comforted.
Psalm 77:2

The huge chandelier in the dining room started swinging and all the kids—we were at a youth retreat—flew out of their chairs to watch the swimming pool.  Water was sloshing around as if the pool were little more than a cup of coffee.  The ground shook a bit—I barely remember, really—and inside of twenty seconds or so, life returned to normal.  The kids sat down and finished their dinner.  It was not “the big one.”

My daughter, who was ten or so, had not moved in all the earthquake hoopla.  She’d stayed at our table, eyes as big as open skies.  Some high school kids had been sitting at our table, and when they came back from watching the pool, they comforted her. 

“Happens all the time here,” the kids said.  “It’s no big deal.”  And then one of said, “You’ve got tornadoes in Iowa.  They’re much worse.”  Which likely didn’t help.

That night, our daughter couldn’t sleep.  I heard her quavering voice when we were in bed. “Dad?”—a single syllable pulled like taffy into sentence-length.

We were at a Bible camp, right?  I was the speaker.  I left our bed and walked to where she was sleeping on the floor in the front room of the cottage where we were staying.  “Just pray to Jesus,” I said. “He’ll listen. We’re not in any trouble—you heard those kids. They were scared of tornadoes.” Maybe that wasn’t smart.

Ten minutes later, she called and I told her again, “Just pray, sweetheart.”

Five minutes later, the same anguished cry. I told her again, more sweetly, to remember that Jesus was her savior. 

Five minutes later, the same anguished cry. Exasperated, I told her to snap on her Walkman, and she muttered not a word thereafter.

The anguish of the story embedded in Psalm 77 is deep, and I don’t want to make light of it. Picture Asaph, all night long, his hands up, awaiting a blessing that never comes—no  relief, no sleep, no cessation of horror.

The story goes on, as we shall see; but because he’s got some distance on that night, he can look back on himself and his situation with some objectivity and blame himself, a soul which “refused to be comforted” even though all night long he was sitting there on crumpled sheets like some Tibetan monk.

Few psalms take the time to tell as specific a story as Psalm 77.  For nine whole verses the poet stays with the narrative of a single night’s anguish, the whole psalm a particular isolated testimony.

All of us are right there with my daughter sometimes, in soul-ful pain for reasons that are varied and difficult and too complex, maybe, to explain (Asaph doesn’t either). Last night I slept well. I didn’t sit up, hands raised, expectant. But I’ve spent nights praying and praying and praying and praying. We all have. If we haven’t we will. 

He may be right about me too: maybe my soul was refusing comfort, rejecting the fruits of the spirit.  Maybe I needed to read a book or stick in my earphones.
Testimonies are lesson plans for our lives, templates by which we bring order to what seems chaos all around. Psalm 77 is Asaph’s testimony. Here’s what happened, he says, in every last jarring detail. But he can tell the story only because it’s over; it’s in the past.  It’s what happened. Past tense. The inherent pledge of a testimony is that it can happen to us too. 

And it does. Sometimes we can’t hear. Sometimes we can’t listen. Sometimes there is just too much chaos. Sometimes our souls refuse comfort.

Open me up, Lord. In my distress, unlock my soul.


oakleyses said...

jordan pas cher, louboutin pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet online, tiffany and co, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin outlet, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, air max, uggs on sale, nike free, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, replica watches, jordan shoes, longchamp pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors pas cher, tiffany jewelry, oakley sunglasses wholesale, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin shoes, louis vuitton outlet, nike outlet, christian louboutin uk, nike air max, gucci handbags, tory burch outlet, nike air max, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses, prada handbags, polo ralph lauren, replica watches, nike free run, ugg boots, prada outlet, polo outlet, burberry pas cher, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, sac longchamp pas cher, chanel handbags, longchamp outlet, nike roshe, oakley sunglasses

oakleyses said...

sac vanessa bruno, michael kors, ralph lauren uk, kate spade, nike blazer pas cher, burberry handbags, lululemon canada, nike tn, coach purses, north face, coach outlet, vans pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, uggs outlet, sac hermes, timberland pas cher, coach outlet store online, converse pas cher, replica handbags, hogan outlet, hollister pas cher, guess pas cher, mulberry uk, nike air max uk, michael kors outlet online, uggs outlet, nike air max, nike air force, true religion jeans, burberry outlet, ray ban pas cher, north face uk, michael kors outlet, michael kors, ray ban uk, oakley pas cher, new balance, michael kors outlet, nike air max uk, michael kors outlet online, polo lacoste, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike roshe run uk, hollister uk

oakleyses said...

herve leger, lululemon, reebok outlet, ferragamo shoes, wedding dresses, louboutin, longchamp uk, gucci, converse outlet, new balance shoes, mont blanc pens, nike air max, celine handbags, nike roshe run, hollister, nike trainers uk, p90x workout, beats by dre, mcm handbags, converse, nfl jerseys, instyler, nike air max, ralph lauren, valentino shoes, hollister, ghd hair, giuseppe zanotti outlet, abercrombie and fitch, vans, iphone cases, nike huaraches, baseball bats, vans outlet, hermes belt, chi flat iron, hollister clothing, babyliss, asics running shoes, oakley, soccer shoes, north face outlet, ray ban, mac cosmetics, timberland boots, bottega veneta, jimmy choo outlet, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, insanity workout

oakleyses said...

canada goose jackets, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, ugg pas cher, hollister, doudoune moncler, ugg, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, moncler, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, replica watches, moncler outlet, moncler uk, barbour, juicy couture outlet, barbour uk, lancel, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, swarovski crystal, pandora charms, louis vuitton, marc jacobs, moncler outlet, moncler, louis vuitton, swarovski, pandora uk, karen millen uk, canada goose outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, moncler, ugg uk, montre pas cher, toms shoes, moncler, supra shoes, links of london, canada goose uk, wedding dresses, canada goose, canada goose, thomas sabo, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, coach outlet

princess Totta said...