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Devotional: October 27, 2020

I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might,     I yell at the top of my lungs. He listens.

I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord;     my life was an open wound that wouldn’t heal. When friends said, “Everything will turn out all right,”     I didn’t believe a word they said.

Once again I’ll go over what God has done,     lay out on the table the ancient wonders; I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished,     and give a long, loving look at your acts.

O God! Your way is holy!     No god is great like God! You’re the God who makes things happen;

Hidden in the hands of Moses and Aaron, You led your people like a flock of sheep.

         Psalm 77: 1-3, 11-13, 20

Psalm 77 illustrates the amazing range of emotions within the Book of Psalms, and sometimes within even the same Psalm! In the opening verses, the Psalmist is yelling at God! He is not offering shouts of praises.  No! Far from it! He is offering up complaints to the Lord. The Psalmist is so upset that one can hear the emotion in his voice. His frustration with God seethes through every opening verse…

Yet in the middle of the Psalm, the Psalmist decides to go back over all of the ways in which God has guided and helped his people. “I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished.” 

It is almost as if after laying out his raw and bare emotions, he decides to look at the record and evidence of God’s dealings with His people. 

As the Psalmist engages in this exercise, a change comes over him. By the end of the Psalm, he is not just recounting the wonders of the Lord. The reader senses that the Psalmist now believes them. 

By the last verse, the Psalmist has gone from one extreme to the other. Remembering his position of faith, he proclaims, “Hidden in the hands of Moses and Aaron, You led your people like a flock of sheep.” 

Perhaps the Psalmist doesn’t see the irony, but we can glimpse it. The Psalmist himself has played the wayward sheep, wandering off into a temper tantrum. Yet the Lord has found his lost sheep, and gradually brought that sheep back into the fold.

What do we learn from this Psalm? We learn that is OK to yell at God. We have the freedom, through the love of God, to be able to share with the Lord anything and everything in our hearts. Not just the “pretty” and “acceptable” emotions, but also the ugly, angry ones. 

That is a remarkable gift to us: knowing that God will not reject us, even when we raise our voices to Him.  Even when we recount the ways in which we have been disappointed by life, and perhaps even by the Lord. Yet, God will never reject us. That is good news!

Instead, the Lord patiently and lovingly helps us to work through whatever it is that we are feeling at a given moment. Like the good shepherd that He is, God will never leave us, or forsake us. Rejoice in His everlasting love!

Prayer

Loving Lord,

Sometimes we are so frustrated by life that we want to shout in Your face! Thank you, God, for always being willing to listen to us, even to our rants, and our temper tantrums. Help us to trust that our relationship with You is strong enough to withstand lover’s quarrels. We pray this prayer in the name of Your son, and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.



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