Psalms Prayers of the Heart
by: Eugene H. Peterson
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Prayerbok: A Look at the Psalms
Part 4 Psalm 42
does not always turn out the way we planned. As children we dream of a future
full of excitement and adventure. Doctors, astronauts, rock stars, the glittering
list is one of endless possibilities.
Then reality takes over. The physically limited or uncoordinated give
up Olympic dreams. Those with an aversion to blood leave behind dreams of
becoming a surgeon. The tone-deaf do not become musicians (well, most of the
time). The reality of life can be a cold teacher, causing us to say with the
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me continually
"Where is your God?"
-Ps 42: 3
Sometimes dreams fade, sometimes they melt away, at other times they
are blasted apart by others, their shards slashing our souls to the core:
I say to my God, my rock,
Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I walk about mournfully
because my enemy oppresses me.
But that is not the end of the story. For those who belong to Jesus,
who have been purchased at the cost of his blood, there remains the glimmer of
hope, at times a struggling, delicate, fragile spark, yet it remains.
Because at our darkest moments there remains a fundamental truth:
As a deer that longs for flowing streams
so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?
-v 1, 2
We, indeed long for the living God, especially when our world crumbles
around us, when "enemies" surround to pounce upon us and mock our faith, our
reason to hope and trust in God. Again we can say with the author of this
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.
Robert Schuller once wrote,
Tough times don't last, tough people do."
The death of one dream can be the stuff that gives birth to a new and
greater one. The God who loved you into existence, the Son of God who offered
himself out of passionate love for you, the Spirit of the living God who
daily sustains you will never abandon you. He knows what he is about. The
question at times like these is: How much do you trust him to love you through
this time in your life? Can you hope in the one whose heart was torn open as a
sign of the depth of his love for you as your own heart cries out in pain?
Reach out in the darkness. Push aside the refuse of what lies broken
at your feet, and with as much trust as you can muster, cry out in faith:
Hope in God, for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.
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