I don’t know about you, but I need me some HOPE today. And not just ANY kind of hope. The kind hope that takes a hold of my heart and soul and makes them soar with possibility!!! Care to join me up here?!
Remember a few weeks ago when we likened our journey through the Psalms of Ascent to a road trip? Well, we now we take the bridge onto our final third of our Ascent Journey! And, this time, we we can see the finish line! We are in our final five Psalms, if you can even stand it!!!
We are filled with anticipation, of the fun of patting one another on the back because we’ve made it this far, and full of encouragement that we can, indeed, make it to our destination. I’m high fiving you right now (virtually speaking, of course!)!
It seems oh-so-fitting that our last leg of our trip begins with a Psalm completely brimming with HOPE (Psalm 130)! It’s this awesome cry out to the God of mercy and forgiveness, who – THANK THE LORD – keeps no record of our sins. (And thanks to what we just celebrated at Easter, we have that promise – eternally!)
Sweet friend, shame knows no place in our lives with God. Don’t get me wrong – repentance is still an essential part of faith-filled lives and we are called to bring those areas of sin into the light for healing. But the shame of having to repeatedly relive it? Not with God. No way.
Psalm 130 gives us the chance to lay it all at His feet, get it off our chests, and then peacefully wait for Him to guide us where we need to go, with our hope intact that He has our back and clearly knows what He is doing.
I don’t know about you, but my favorite part about Psalm 130 is the middle third.
To me, that strips away everything else and makes it so basic and so where I want to be. Like, “My life is basically an open book and open convo with God at all times and at every level.” Yes, Lord!! Love that!
And then it goes on to say “I’m just going to put my life out there and watch and wait for God to show me where to go, because I know He will and I trust Him. He’s full of mercy and forgiveness!” Now THAT’s hope.
If you didn’t have that sort of trusting faith, that HOPE, that God had it all under control for you and your benefit, you wouldn’t be able to say, like our psalmist here says, that you are like a watchman. Isn’t that an interesting thought? Why a watchman??? I think I might have an idea…
My sister lives in New York City and almost since she’s been there, she has lived in places with 24-hour doormen. Now, for those of us who haven’t ever lived in a big city, or in a building so large, it may seem a little foreign to need someone watching over a building all day and all night. But as Frank Sinatra famously crooned, New York IS the city that never sleeps!
Honestly, though, it’s sort of a necessity. ‘It’s a busy city! People come and go at all hours of the night between work schedules, social events and commitments, and frankly, it just makes a person feel better to think someone is keeping watch, doesn’t it?
But think of the job of that person who has the night shift. There’s probably not a lot of work to be done in a residential building: not a lot of packages to deliver, dogs to untangle, or doors to open. For the most part, it’s just watching and waiting without any feeling of stress or urgency, knowing morning is coming and that the next shift will arrive on time – just like it always does. It certainly doesn’t diminish the importance of the job, it actually elevates it. To a place of peace.
This idea of watching and waiting also makes me think of something a friend of mine said recently regarding a tumor diagnosis she received. She said, “All opinions are that we should take a watch and wait approach.” In other words, while there clearly is a reason to be alert, no one is freaking out about it. We’ve got it under control and we are expectantly hopeful that all will be well.
No need to obsess about it. No need to scour the internet for every possible scenario. No need to be that wind-whipped prayer worrier we’ve talk about before (see James 1 for a refresher…). Nope. Hope let’s us be prayer warriors, confident in God’s plans for us and that they are GOOD ones. We pray. And then we wait in hope “for what He’ll do and say” (Psalm 130:5, MSG).
THAT is the kind of watchful waiting our Psalmist is talking about. Hoping for God’s best. Without running any sort of scary scenarios in his head of what could happen if God didn’t have it under control. So this hope we’re talking about? It’s more than simply human hope. It’s more like a heavenly, confident, peace-filled HOPE.
And that’s the kind of HOPE that breeds JOY.
Speaking of hope and joy (with a humungous dose of grace thrown in for fun!), have you seen this awesome music video of Matt Redmond’s “Your Grace Finds Me”? You are going to LOVE it! My favorite part is near the end where he sings, “I’m breathing in your grace, and breathing out your praise…”. I dare you to listen to it without taking deep breaths. Soooooo cool!
Enjoy your week, sweet friends! Hugs all around…
Peace, love, and JOY!
Up Next Week: Let the blessings begin!