God on Repeat (Psalm 88)
Reflections on Psalm 88
As the youngest child, my more youthful self often felt entitled to the lion’s share of my mother’s attention. Whether I needed to tell her something or I merely wanted to know what’s for dinner, I expected her to turn my way as soon as I song my siren song: “Mom!”. Unfortunately, interlopers occasionally purloined her time. In those instances, I would repeatedly say, “Mom, mom, mom, etc.” until she finally acknowledged me. With eyebrows a-twitch, she would ask with a forced calm what I need. My request or question generally ended up lacking the urgency that would require the interruption, but we youngest children love to be seen and heard.
As I grew out of childhood, I left behind this irritating habit (it’s still fun to revisit once in a while, though), but not before it bled over into my relationship with God. When I need his ear, I start to call, “God, God, God.” A perk of omnipresence is that the Lord can equitably divide his attention among his children all clamoring for his attention.
Though he is always tuned to our voices, we also expect him to act on our behalf immediately. When my annoying cadence captured my mom’s ear, she’d respond as quickly as possible so she could resume her conversation. God, however, does not always reply with the same haste. By comparison, his mouth can seemed stitched shut or his hand unmoved. We expect our clamors to be met with immediate action.
As we wait for the Father’s hand, pain and darkness can feel like closer companions than God himself. Reading the next Psalm, however, is like opening a window in our stuffy waiting room. “I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever,” the Hebrew poet declares, “I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself” (Psalm 89:1-2). We may not see what God is doing, but we can know that his love goes ever on.
Footsteps—putting feet on our faith
What are you waiting for right now?
Why is that process so hard?
How is God showing you his love while you wait?
Dear God, your love is constant and unfading. Though I waver and run around in fear, your goodness is firm and stable. Help me to build my life on that foundation. Show me that this house can be a light in the darkness, hope to the broken, and a way stop for the weary soul. By Christ I pray, amen.