SCRIPTURE: Judges 8; Psalm 42; 1 Corinthians 15
Psalm 42: 4-5 These are the things I go over and over,
emptying out the pockets of my life.
I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd,
right out in front,
Leading them all,
eager to arrive and worship,
Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving—
celebrating, all of us, God’s feast!
Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He’s my God.
Most of my sadness comes from ideas I carry with me: Small ideas that are constantly at hand, like something in my pockets. Even when I’m leading worship and at the height of excitement about my job as a pastor, there are days when I feel like I’m beset on all sides. The truth is that I am most often beset from within. Worries that I’m not enough. Worries that I’m not a great father. Worries that my wife could do better. I’m assured by all parties that I’m doing fine. But the worries and the sadness come around again, as they do for all of us.
Joey, you should really get busy praising God — not because there’s nothing to be sad about, but because those times come and go. There’s so much more to your life as a disciple than waiting for God to fix you, or fretting that you will somehow let God down. Instead, focus on the fact that God will not let you down. Create a place in your life where your faith is unassailable, where your confidence is in God alone. And from there, praise God’s holy name.
God, you go with me down the dark roads. You break open the strongholds and you burn love’s light into the cold dark places within me. Speak once more to your forgetful servant of the love and joy that you intend for us all. For the sake of the Christ I ask it. Amen.
Author: Joey Reed
Joey is married to his best friend. Together, they have two children and live in Jackson, Tennessee. Joey serves Grace United Methodist Church, the Jackson District, the Memphis Annual Conference, and the world is his parish.