“O God, remember David, remember all his troubles!” Psalm 132.1
Everywhere I look, I see people dealing with pain, struggling to survive, and fighting daily battles. I wonder if the “progress” we are making in society helps. Regardless of the reasons, life is painful, difficult, and challenging.
The examples are easily overwhelming when you stop to think about them. Planes crash with loss of all lives on board, AIDs is ravaging the adult population in whole sections of Africa, and wars continue to ravage innocent people. At the local level, the homeless struggle to survive, brutality shows up in the police we trust and in casual driving. Even in our personal space, we fight sickness, injury, depression, injustice, and loss of hope in all the various forms.
My natural response to these troubles is to crawl into my shell and deal with what I can deal with. I desperately want to focus on my issues, deal with the immediate, and do what I can to fix my life’s problems. My reflection on what happens when I do this brings the same result each time. I cannot fix my own problems much less solve any other problems. I can help but control escapes my grasp. In addition, every action I take leaves me with a thirst for the extra that that I could take.
The Psalmist focused on the right priority, prayer. Prayer is an open and honest dialogue with God about what we face and see. Prayer begins the process; letting go of the issue to wait on God is the next step; following the Spirit’s lead in what I should do closes out the process. Honesty with God is tough, we often do not believe that He wants to hear and understand our viewpoint. The following step is equally hard, letting go and waiting.
God clearly says that He is interested in the details. I am too. God offers me relationship and guidance for the future. Exercising faith, focusing on this priority is the most powerful thing any of us can do to help others.