Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stepping Up: Week 1 - Day 2

Day 2 - Woe is Me

Today we are looking at Psalm 120, the first in the Psalms of Ascent. 

A song for the ascent to Jerusalem.

1 I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.

2 Rescue me, O Lord, from liars and from all deceitful people.

3 O deceptive tongue, what will God do to you? How will he increase your punishment?

4 You will be pierced with sharp arrows and burned with glowing coals.

5 How I suffer among these scoundrels of Meshech! It pains me to live with these people from Kedar!

6 I am tired of living here among people who hate peace.

7 As for me, I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war!

Notice in verse 1 that the writer is calling out in distress.  That is where we should look first, stop all the complaining and look to Him.  But do we need to stop complaining?  No, not at all - and that is the lesson I learned today!!!

Psalm 142: 1-2 I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD's mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.

Remember when we were studying Proverbs 31 and came across this verse...
Proverbs 21:19 It is better to live alone in the desert than with a crabby, complaining wife.
Well, I have been working hard to not voice my complaints to my hubby or to anyone really. But what I have been doing instead is getting more and more annoyed and frustrated. Never thought to voice those complaints straight up to God, to pour them out to Him. 
Today there was more though!  This is the first Psalm of Ascent, the first step on the journey to being closer to God.  For the Jews it was their starting point on the long journey to Jerusalem.  They were stuck in a place that they didn't want to be - verse 5 and were desiring peace - verse 6.
Can you relate to that, can you apply that to your life or even to your spiritual life?  Are you stuck in chaos but you desire the peace that God provides?  Is the 'war' around you so noisy that it drowns out God trying to speak to you?  Is that chaos so distracting that you are not getting the time with God that you need to find peace within the chaos?
Yep that was totally my experience when I was trying to read today's lesson in the workbook.  This how it went...
Read a few lines of the lesson...
Spend a few minutes getting Ben to pick something up that he threw on the floor
Kids yelling that the puppy peed on the floor, run to clean it up.

Read a few lines
Help Ben get dressed to go outside
Chase the puppy who is chewing on my shoe
Read a few lines
Help Sam and Carlee get dressed to go outside
Read a few lines
Chase puppy who is chewing on a pencil
Read a few lines
Ben comes in crying, help him get undressed

Read a few lines
Ben throwing a fit knocks over the chair, I tell him to pick it up
Try to read while listening to the screaming, doesn't work so just look at book pretending to read
Chase Ben, bring him back and tell him to pick up the chair
He finally picks up the chair

Read a few lines

Sam and Carlee come back in, help them get undressed

Ok, take a deep breath and read a few lines

Pretty sure I chased the puppy a few more times!
Ben throws a cloth on the floor, I tell him to ...well you get the idea, we went through a cloth, a pen, and him nearly knocking over the laundry basket. Then he starts whining for juice, I tell him that he may have juice when he asks without whining.  He whines about wanting juice for several minutes before he finally asked nicely.

During all this mess this is what I read - no I am not kidding, this is really in the book, right there on page 21, the exact spot that I was at during this chaotic morning! 
Consider the final plea of the psalmist in Psalm 120. Lord I'm weary of living or working continually around people who thrive on conflict, I want peace, but they love a battle (author's paraphrase). Is this you?
Yep I had one of those laugh your head off til you cry moments! 

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