Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Light… (Psalm 43) 060109

Obviously, Psalm 43 and Psalm 42 are written by the same author and perhaps they were originally one Psalm. Evident? They both have a common refrain:

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him… (Ps 42:5; Ps 42:11 and Ps 43:5).
Besides this, there are others similarity in the style of the language used and of course the themes of these two Psalms are also similar. But there is a progression; Psalm 42 seems to be focusing on the Psalmist’s weariness within himself while Psalm 43 highlighted God’s worthiness to be worship and lead. There is a sense of victim-mentally in Psalm 42; but in Psalm 43, there is a sense of enough-is-enough-and-calling-for-vindication-attitude.
Yes, life is full of rejection and oppression (v2). We might even feel that God Himself has rejected us, like the Psalmist. At least I had felt that way before. When things around you seems to be falling apart; when things are out of your control; when the economic tsunami simply sweep under and over you and causes you to lose everything; you will shout to God: Why hast Thou rejected me? (v2) It will be worst if the very thing you put your trust in for years turn against you. It could be your confidence in your academic successes; it could be your excellent prospect career which you have built for years; it could be your marriage or a relationship; it could even be the church you have dearly loved. All these were once your pillar of strength; all these were once your motivation to press on when times are bad; all these were once your hope to a dream. But when they suddenly failed to meet your expectation, what do you do?
I have had placed my life in church, and serving the church. The first half of my Christian life, I labored with hope and love to serve my former church, and thinking that will be my only church which I will give my life to. But when the day of “excommunication” due to an “unfortunate” incident, my heart died; my soul died. My life crashed. Out of a sudden, I have no more friends, I have no more ministries to serve, I have no more church and I have no more God! Like the Psalmist, I cried out: Vindicate me (v1)! Give me justice! Return to me all that I have given up for that church! Sadly, I have been worshipping the church all these while rather that God of the church. But God did vindicate me and give me back all I have lost and even more in my current church.
More than a year ago, when crisis after crisis came into my family, I couldn’t handle. God seems to have rejected my request for help. God seems to be absent and hidden from me. My cries only echoed into a valley of vast emptiness and darkness. There was no reply, there was no help, there seemed to be no God. Like the Psalmist, there will be times in life where there seems to be no God, when all the situations around us asked: Where is your God (Ps 42:3, 10)?
It is perfectly alright to be honest about our doubt, it is alright to ask: where are you, God? We will be lying if we can’t sense or see or hear God but pretending to go around our business as if we have a sense of God around us. We see this in church: people who go to pub and got drunk the night before they come to church to part of the worship leading; people who have a quarrel with their spouse in the morning before stepping onto the pulpit to preach or serve the communion (that’s me); and people who have not touch the Bible through the week but leading a Bible study (this is not me).

Come before God with a honest heart. If there is anything you want God to give to you during your dark moments in life; ask for His light (v3). The Psalmist asked for His light, because that is the truth and that will lead and bring him to God’s dwelling place, into His presence (v3). Only when we are in His presence, then we can truly rejoice and praise Him for His goodness (v4).
When we are in darkness, we cannot see the goodness of God around us; we cannot see the protection and His hand in our lives; we cannot even find the right way towards Him. Ask for the light.
Are you going through some darkness in life? Ask for the light of God. May His light shine upon you and you will see His face and His glory.


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