Keep It Real
Mighty God, on this grim10th anniversary, may your people show that Your truth is stronger than the world’s violence.
Read PSALM 143:1-12
 A psalm of David.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Give me a pure heart—that I may see Thee; a humble heart—that I may see Thee” (Dag Hammerskjold).
The tears flowed and her voice struggled as she begged God to do something to prevent the violence that was killing her people. So many already dead, so many women widowed and children orphaned. Whole communities had fled their homes and livelihoods. Her prayers were pure, raw emotion, and utterly devoid of pretense. When she finished there wasn’t one among us who hadn’t been caught up in the urgency of her prayer. We had gathered in the cool of the evening under a clear Ugandan sky to read the Bible, pray and sing our songs of worship. The psalms came alive that night for me in a manner I had never experienced before. I discovered in a new way that the psalms give us permission to express our grief, anger, confusion and pain to God, just as they encourage us to celebrate his love and faithfulness.
As it was for my Ugandan colleague’s community, so it was for David. Having been brought to the brink of despair (3,4) by the relentless pursuit of his enemies, he pleaded for God’s intervention (9). His prayer, motivated by desperation, was also shaped by a desire for restored intimacy with God and past experience of God’s goodness (5,6,8,12). He knew himself and God too well to base his plea on anything other than God’s righteousness and faithfulness.
God did not answer my Ugandan friend’s prayer in the way she hoped. The violence escalated, killing many more people and leaving a legacy of years of hunger and a rapidly spreading HIV/AIDS pandemic. God’s apparent disinterest may leave us bewildered and deeply disappointed, but in humility we have to acknowledge the futility and plain stupidity of thinking we know better than God. There are times when all we can do is mourn with him over the impact of evil and sin in the world.
Take time to acknowledge to the Lord, any such struggles you may have. Then, thank and praise him, “… for his love and faithfulness.”
Lord, on this special day for our nation, continue to enable those who suffered great loss to process their anger and grief. Grant special wisdom to our leaders, also.
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