When iniquities prevail against me…

Yesterday I was angry.

It wasn’t any one thing, or any one person. It was a lot of little things that led me to bottle up and stuff a lot of anger. By the time I got home for the night, it was all I could do to wash my dishes and take some deep breaths.

My anger wasn’t righteous by any count…and a lot of it was held onto simply because it was “packing snow” for a pretty big snowball. I felt really burdened by it, and was amazed this morning to read Psalm 65, still feeling the remnants of an angry day:

Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion, 

and to you shall vows be performed.

O you who hear prayer, 

to you shall all flesh come.

when iniquities prevail against me,

you atone for our transgressions.

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,

to dwell in your courts!

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,

the holiness of your temple!

And the crazy thing is that even before reading, the Holy Spirit wrote some of these words on my heart – he brought Jeremiah 29:12-14 to my mind 

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord

He also brought to mind being satisfied in him, as I asked, “What do I do when I’m so angry? I’m supposed to give it up to you, but what does that even look like? It’s not as easy as ignoring it or stuffing it, this I know.” So then, encountering these very themes and words in a psalm I would have read anyway was loudly heard and at least primitively understood!

This being Holy Week, I have been encouraged in a lot of different contexts to consider the cross, the cost to Jesus it was to die for my sin, the enormous and free gift of atonement, the hope of life in Christ. And I’ve bobbed my head along and said, Yeah. I can do that. And even sincerely I considered it, but then today it leaped off the page in a Psalm that was “coincidentally” the next one in my reading sequence.

 

5 By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,

O God of our salvation,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas; (Psalm 65:5, ESV)

and

 

7 who stills the roaring of the seas,

the roaring of their waves,

the tumult of the peoples, (Psalm 65:7, ESV)

 God not only calms the roaring of the seas’ waves, he calms the tumult of the peoples.
 
This morning I have had a shiver of awe at His Word’s expressive, personal message for me. God is indeed an abundant provider (and the Psalm goes on to talk about the measure of his provision for the earth and all in it).
 
My sin prevails against me and it’s easy to give in to it, but because God is my hope through Christ, because he has brought me near to him, I can offer it up to him and be washed and remade to serve him. 
 
Thanks to God that His Word is ONE narrative, and that my life is woven into it.
Happy (?) Maundy Thursday, too!

 

 

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