"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." - Psalm 42:5
Most days I love being a pastor. Today's not one of them.
A deeply loved church member is dying at hospice, leaving a wife and two teenage children. A buried conflict erupted in this morning's staff meeting. Another staff member was unenthusiastic about an idea I thought was fresh and innovative. The software we use for a monthly financial report is printing out conflicting results. People who have no idea about any of the above are asking for some of my non-existent reserve.
I have a deadline to write a StillSpeaking devotional today. Why can't the deadline fall on a good day? Today I'm a planner with no plan, a peacemaker in the crosshairs of a conflict, a fixer with only square tools and round holes.
What was that Scripture I read to the family in a dark and quiet Hospice room this morning…"Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise God."
The psalmist knew tears and thirst and enemies and taunting, but on that day he chose to write a song of trust that we still read thousands of years later. On that day – a bad day, a frustrating day, a day of disappointment and discouragement – the psalmist declared defiantly, "I will yet praise God," even before anything changed. I will do that too.
I don't have many answers at the moment, but I have God. I know there will be many days to follow with multiple reasons for thanks and praise. God is still Savior, and God is still God. God is enough.
Even on days when frustrations are easier to count than blessings, dear Lord, point my heart to what's real and what's eternal. Help me find my peace in your goodness, through Jesus Christ, Amen.
Bob Thompson is Pastor of Corinth Reformed Church (UCC) in Hickory, North Carolina, and President of Faithful and Welcoming Churches of the UCC. He posts sermons and other reflections on his blog, corinthpastorbob.com.