April 5, 2017

Overwhelmed by the Dark

“Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery.
If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, and agony on me.”
(Hee Haw TV show)

The writer of Psalm 77 could have joined in the singing of this little song, at least in the first 9 verses, he probably would have.

Things looked dark and dim, Israel was on the brink of captivity. The writer of this Psalm is struggling with all the darkness that is being unleashed and ask some incredible questions about God’s involvement and attention to the matter. I like the way The Message translation phrases these questions,

I strum my lute all through the night, wondering how to get my life together. Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good? Will he never smile again? Is his love worn threadbare? Has his salvation promise burned out? Has God forgotten his manners? Has he angrily stalked off and left us?” (Psalm 77:6–9, The Message)

Wow, talk about hopeless despair! Many folks have probably been here to some degree or another; I know I have. So, what do you do? We do what the writer of this Psalm did; we take a pause, a deep breath and a long look back at God’s faithfulness to His people and to His word.

Once again I’ll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts. O God! Your way is holy! No god is great like God!” (Psalm 77:11–13, The Message)

God always has and always will act according to His nature. It has always been that we change and then blame God for the consequences of our changing. God has never been lost which is why He is so easy to find. He is always on His throne, large and in charge; there are only pretender gods; no one or no thing even comes close to God’s greatness.

You’re the God who makes things happen; you showed everyone what you can do— You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble, rescued the children of Jacob and Joseph.” (Psalm 77:14–15, The Message)

God is never intimidated by our circumstances but He is limited by our unbelief and trust in Him. The writer recalls that God delivered Israel from the most powerful nation on earth at the time, Egypt. He split an ocean, led Israel through it, and destroyed the most powerful military on the planet in His wake. Yeah, God still has the strength to deliver and the desire to do so. It’s never been about God leaving us, but about us leaving God; it’s never been about God growing weak but about us going wayward.

When I remember, and come to grips with Who God is and His faithfulness and lovingkindness; I am positioned to light the darkness and leave the darkness, instead of being overwhelmed by the darkness I become obedient to the Light Who is God.

This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.
(1 John 1:5, The Message)