“In you O Lord I take refuge; let me never be put to shame…. Be to me a rock of refuge… For you, O Lord, are my hope
Some of my favorite Scripture passages are in the Psalms. Psalm 23, 46, 71, 100, 121, are just some of my favorites. The Psalms are often described as the hymnal and prayer book of the people of God. I’ve also heard the Psalms described as containing all the emotions and responses that any person can have, including toward God. So we see in the Psalm words of repentance, faith, doubts, confusion, frustrations, anger, even unbelief.
But here’s the thing: if we bring all these thoughts and emotions to God, then we are bringing them to the right place. Because God is certainly big enough to hear all our problems and complaints, and yet still love and guide and bless us.
I like comparing our relationship to God to a young child and her/his parents. Just as a young child can cry and run away from a parent, so can we do the same with God. Just as a parent loves and will care for and protect and discipline their child, so does God with each and every one of us.
Sometimes I hear people complain about a passage of Scripture which includes anger, conflict, even violence between God and people. And certainly all of this is included in the Psalms.
But now compare this to a good relationship, such as between a loving and caring parent and their child.. There still will be times of anger and conflict. Yet always there is love and trust in one another. If a person disobeys good authority, discipline and direction will be given. If my child or grandchild runs toward a busy street, or reaches to touch a hot stove, I will yell and stop that child from hurting him/herself. Or if someone or something tries to harm my family, I will use whatever means necessary to protect them. Yet always I will try to do so with love and care for all people involved. How much more so is God toward all of His creation!
So as we read the Scriptures, including the Psalms, let us always remember the over-arching love and grace of God, as most evident in God’s Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. We may not understand every action of God, as described in Scripture. But then, a young child doesn’t understand every action of a parent. In the end, all we need to know is that God is almighty, and the God of love, who reaches out to each and every one of us with His grace and mercy.