My dear Mara, I want to listen to you thrash it out over and over. I’m itching to seriously hurt the selfish fools causing you so much grief. If only I could snap my fingers and make everything better….
Since receiving your letter this afternoon, I’ve thought of nothing else. The tears flow, my fists are clenched, and I’ve expressed just the tip of my anger on the chopping board. The vegetables were hacked to pieces tonight. If that is how I feel as your friend, I can’t begin to imagine your turmoil. Are you feeling betrayed? No wonder. Guilty? Don’t. God knows. You are innocent.
I hate being half a world away. I ache to hug you. I certainly don’t want to preach at you. But I need to see a ray of light in this blackness. Do you mind listening in as I review a favourite Psalm? Is that okay?
“I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.” (Psalm 57:2NIV)
Did you get that? God has a purpose for each of us, and will fulfill it. That’s not to say that those horrible people don’t deserve to suffer. But they can’t block God’s purpose for you.
Turn to Psalm 57. See the introduction? David wasn’t king yet, but his popularity was growing, and King Saul was losing the plot big time. David wrote this when he was hiding in the caves as Saul’s men tried to kill him. He surely was in the right, if ever a man was. Can you identify?
Look at how David describes himself. Does it sound familiar? Flying to God for refuge? Pleading with God for mercy? Pursued? Lying helpless among ‘ravenous beasts’? Surrounded by people whose tongues are like ‘sharp swords’?
I wonder if you can identify with the bits about God sending His love and faithfulness, and giving refuge in the shadow of His wings? If you’re as angry as I am, you probably just want action, right?
David was huddling in a cave when he penned these words. And you’re huddling in a ball of despair. I’m a growling, fearsome bulldog on your behalf, yet without teeth and tethered tightly far from the action.
The first half of the Psalm finishes with a prayer. David writes, “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” (Psalm 57:5 NIV). It’s an interesting concept when he was in such a horrible predicament. I’d rather pray for painful revenge. But I guess this prayer is more godly.
David explains next how the traps set by his enemies caught only his enemies themselves. May God do the same for you. If only I could choose incredibly vicious traps. Destruction – bring it on!
Then David does something weird. He sings about a steady heart. He wants to wake up the dawn. Sing? How could his heart possibly have been steady? My heart and stomach have churned ever since I received your news. It must be related to David’s focus on the God who fulfills His purpose for us. And look – he sang in the darkness before the dawn had broken. Maybe God will help you reach that point too? Miracles happen. I’d rather the enemies just fall into their own disgusting traps.
Next comes a vow. “I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples…” (Psalm 57:9NIV). David seemed pretty sure he would be rescued eventually. I suppose God get you through this mess too? After all, he is the God who fulfills His purpose for us.
The Psalm says that God’s love reaches the heavens and His faithfulness to the skies. I can’t see a shred of evidence of His love and faithfulness in your situation. Still, I guess David couldn’t when he wrote in the dim light of that cave either. That didn’t change the truth of who God is, though, did it?
David closes the Psalm with the same phrase he used half way through. “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” (Psalm 57:11NIV)
I feel so helpless … all I can do for you is pray. Somehow, I’ll try to pray more like a Christian, and less like a mad woman set on revenge.
God Most High, please help my friend. And as you fulfill your purpose for her, may everyone around see how amazing you are.
Love and prayers,
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