Saturday, January 21, 2012

January Devotion

Passage for Reflection: Psalm 10:11-14
11 The wicked think to themselves:
God has forgotten.
God has hidden his face.
God never sees anything!
12 Get up, LORD !
Get your fist ready, God!
Don’t forget the ones who suffer!
13 Why do the wicked reject God?
Why do they think to themselves
that you won’t find out?
14 But you do see!
You do see troublemaking and grief,
and you do something about it!
The helpless leave it all to you.
You are the orphan’s helper.

When I first read this passage, the author’s idea that the wicked get away with evil deeds while the poor and oppressed seem to be punished really resonated with me. This seems to be a fairly common struggle in which Christians find themselves. The author, speaking on behalf of the everyday man or woman, feels helpless, unsure of his or her faith and sad that it appears God has forgotten to punish the wicked. The wicked enjoy living their lives of sin and appear happy that God has forgotten about them. All the while, the poor and oppressed seem to have the least of all and yet the strongest faith. John Fountain’s memoir, True Vine, illustrates this principle. Set in South Chicago, it is a story about a young boy growing up in poverty, surrounded by family members that exhibited strong faith in the face of adversity.

Echoing the psalmist’s uncertainty, Fountain thought when he was younger that God must only work in people’s dreams because when he heard people’s faith stories, the “moment of truth” always seemed to happen at night. It wasn’t until later that he realized God is constantly working through people. I, too, sometimes forget this, getting caught up in the indignation of verses 11-13. That is why verse 14 is so powerful. God does remember! It does seem like a big task and sometimes a little hopeless, but it helps to know God sees grief and troubles and is actively working to do something about it! He hasn’t forgotten the downtrodden- we as Christians are called to bring help to those suffering.

Dear Heavenly Father, please be with us as we deal with injustice, the wicked and our feelings of helplessness.  Help us to turn our feelings of indignation into opportunities for action. In your son’s holy name we pray, Amen.

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