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Friday, July 9, 2010

Complain if you must

1 When I call, give me answers. God, take my side! Once, in a tight place, you gave me room; now I'm in trouble again: grace me! hear me!  2 You rabble—how long do I put up with your scorn? How long will you lust after lies? How long will you live crazed by illusion?  3 Look at this: look who got picked by God! He listens the split second I call to him.  4-5 Complain if you must, but don't lash out. Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking. Build your case before God and wait for his verdict.  6-8 Why is everyone hungry for more? "More, more," they say. "More, more." I have God's more-than-enough, more joy in one ordinary day than they get in all their shopping sprees.  At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep, for you, God, have put my life back together. (Psalm 4)


David had learned that enemies will come and go - their attacks as certain as the sun rising and setting.  Yet, in the midst of scorn, lies, and all kinds of attack, he stands before his God, his acquaintances, and his enemies with the same assurance he knows in the "good times".  David recounts that he had been in "tight places" before - but his God had come to his rescue, giving him the room he needed in order to dodge the attack of his enemies.  In that place of feeling "boxed in" by life again, he calls out to God for his grace.


It is that ability to call out to God with an assurance that he will be heard that allows him to turn to his enemies and ask, "How long...?"  He knows their attempts to tear him down are limited by the keeping hand of God.  I love it when David looks at his enemy squarely in the face and says, "Look who got picked by God!"  It is kind of like a "na-na-na-na-nah"!  He knows, standing with absolute conviction, that the moment he calls out to God, God listens.  There is no delay in responsiveness on God's part - he is listening.  


It also is refreshing to me that David tells us his manner of approach to God - and it is totally "normal".  He says he might even spend a little time complaining to God (complain if you must), but he doesn't lash out and accuse God of the attack.  God may have allowed it for our growth and development, but he is not the one doing the attacking.  David says you let your heart do the talking.  Why?  It is simply that God wants to hear from us exactly where we are at - no embellishments, no need to "clean it up" for him - simply be real.


David closes this Psalm with a message of assurance - God is more than enough!  He knows that he possesses God's "more than enough" for the present circumstance and the one that may come with the dawn of a new day. He serves the God of "more than enough" and enjoys the rest that brings to his soul.  That is how he lays his head down at night in the midst of tough circumstances and sleeps like a baby!  I know the value of a night's rest to my body and the difference it makes to the view I take of the circumstances I am in.  I think he did, too.  He came to realize that it was in trusting God's "more than enough" that he could rest - really rest.  


If today is one of those days when you are up against tough odds - run to the God who is "more than enough" to deal with those odds.  Pour out your heart to him - even if you must complain - he listens.  Then, stand assured that the graces of God will take you through - he is more than enough!  Think about that - more than enough.  That means that there are "left-overs" in the grace department with God.  Left-overs that can even be a blessing through our lives into the lives of those who observe the struggle, those who stand as enemies in our path, or simply those who brush up against us long enough to enjoy them!  We serve a God that stands ready to give us rest in the battle.  Cry out to him today - he is listening.