Ever get so worked up into a lather of rage, of doubt, of tumult deep in your soul that such pent-up accusations like these coming roiling forth?
God, “What’s wrong with that person?!”
God, “What’s wrong with me?!”
“What’s wrong with You, God?!”
Maybe, like for me, it helps if you catch a Psalmist (David, no less) in the act of going nuclear, spouting off with a series of “why’s” that would put a blush on a salty sailor. Welcome to Psalms 42 and 43.
At the core, David’s lost something. He lost God. He didn’t lose his belief in God, but his experience of meeting with the living God. David’s not satisfied with a god who is a remote, nebulous force. He’s longing for a living, personal God who is writing a story and David (plus you and me) are in that story.
He asks, “Why have You forgotten me, God of my strength?” Do you hear this as an echo of our Christ declaring, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” This should rattle us bone-deep.
He asks, “Why am I oppressed? Why am I depressed?” “Why do I feel such tumult complete with tears, such clamor, such uproar, such rage?”
If I’m honest, I hear this same panicky chatter down in my own soul. It comes on me relentlessly, like billowing waves in my stormy circumstances, in my frequent periods of shame and confusion. What’s a poor, shaken soul like me, like you, to do about it? Well, my fellow believer, lets read between the lines of David’s gut-level accusations and inquiries to hear his solution.
“I will remember!” Remember what? Remember previous favor, previous mercy. Remember to praise God in the midst of the onslaught. Remember previous deliverance’s. Remember God’s covenant. Give Him thanks and keep trusting. Maybe it sounds like this: “And that I may go unto the altar of God, even unto the God of my joy and gladness: and upon the harp will I give thanks to thee, O God, my God.”
“Put thy trust in God: for I will give him thanks for the help of his countenance.”
That phrase, “the help of his countenance” settles it! Finally, I have what I thought was denied, Your face, O my God. Your face.” Your face that turns toward me graciously, knows me deeply and thoroughly, hears me fully has become my salvation.
Yesterday, today, forever, You are my living God.