Wednesday, September 11, 2013

God is compassionate and loving!

Psalm Psalm 78:1-2, 34-38
1Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
34When he killed them, they sought for him; they repented and sought God earnestly.
36But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues.
38Yet he, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; often he restrained his anger, and did not stir up all his wrath. 

Every time I read this passage, I cannot help but think about a women who I met during my time as a Chaplain at the hospital.  I can't remember and can't share all the details but I can tell you she was a larger women suffering from some pretty scary stuff.  She was having difficulty breathing which was keeping her up at night and at some point she had had a bad reaction to some medication - which caused hallucinations.  When I met her she had a lot of anxiety which was taking a toll on her mental and physical well being.  

We started praying and reading the psalms to find some comfort in her stay at the hospital.  This psalm 78 became a favorite.  Its beautiful language gives us a picture of a God who is close to us humans.  Despite all that was happening to her and despite all the sin she thought she had committed, she found her own worth in God's eyes.  That is pretty powerful stuff.

In today's world it is easier for us to compare ourselves with the images of others and with what we think we should be.  It is easy to make the case that we are not worthy or not good enough.  It is easy for us to fall into the trap that in order to receive God's grace you have to be a prefect Christian - a saved Christian - first.  But that isn't the case.  God is not only loving and compassionate but despite our human ways God sent Jesus showing us our worth.  Pretty powerful stuff!

So, today read through this psalm and pray to God for help to follow even when it is hard and let us lived into our worth that our compassionate God has shown us living up to and through the example set by Christ.  Amen!