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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"O God, you are my God..."

How can I write about Psalm 63? This psalm, which was my favorite psalm ever, which I prayed over and over when I felt so in need of God. I read it so many times back then, even now I still have it memorized (NIV 1984, for those of you who were wondering).

But I don't feel like that anymore. I don't feel close to God. I don't like to pray because ... how can I? And what's the point? Things are more confusing now. How can I write about Psalm 63?

Image source.
But wait.

Perfect Number, wait. And read it again.

O God, you are my God,
    earnestly I seek you...

I do seek him. I'm very happy to be a Christian. And I could blog about anything in the whole world, but I write about Christianity most of the time. (And occasionally post photos of cakes, obviously.)

And I just said "I don't feel close to God"... because I wish I did.

...my soul thirsts for you...

And oh how I thirst. For truth, for answers- better answers than the ones I hear at church. I want to believe in a gospel that actually is "good news." I will keep asking questions about what the deal is with hell, because IT CAN'T BE what I thought it was.

And I want God, I want to pray but I don't know how anymore. And I want to know what's God's role in my life- I want him to have some role, but what? Does it make sense to pray for things like getting a job? And what about my relationship with my boyfriend? Did God "put us together"- no, I don't think I believe in that anymore. But what is God's role? Does God "have a plan for my life"? What does that even mean?

And isn't it true that I ask because I want to know? And I want God in my life, and I trust that there are answers... my soul thirsts for you.

...my body longs for you...

My body longs for God's love and power and justice to make things right. In a literal sense (you know, health issues...) and figurative sense. When I read about things happening which should never happen- violence, discrimination, suffering, etc- my eyes want to cry and my heart hurts and I wish I could hug people to make things better... My body longs for this to end, for the world to be a better place, for God to redeem everything.

...in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Kind of like how I ask where God is when bad things happen. It feels like "a dry and weary land" devoid of God's love.

I have seen you in the sanctuary 
    and beheld your power and your glory.

Oh I have seen God's power. Oh yes. But now I don't know what it means anymore. It's not like "oh, I believe in God's power AND THEREFORE this set of very specific statements that I learned in evangelical Christianity are all true." Believing in God's power is only one piece. I have no idea how it fits in with everything else.

And in the rest of this psalm, there's a whole lot of the word "will." Looking forward to what will happen- acknowledging that things aren't right at the moment, but God has to come change it. I'm totally on board with that.

O God, you are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
    my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
    where there is no water.

Can I really pray this prayer, claim it as mine, like I used to? I've just gone through every line and shown that it does apply to me. But... I hesitate. I'm not a "good Christian" anymore. I ask annoying questions at church. I get really upset when Christians say incredibly ignorant and hateful things about LGBT people. I've completely ditched purity culture and modesty culture- and I asked a guy to be my boyfriend because I thought it was a good idea (and it was!), not because God told me to.

O God, you are my God,
    earnestly I seek you...

Maybe the reason I don't feel close to God is I still believe I'm not allowed to, now that I no longer qualify as a "real Christian" by the standards of what I used to believe. In another post, I asked "Can I love Jesus too?" and I'm still stuck on that question.

I can talk, blog, and argue about God, Christianity, love, people, and the gospel all day long. But actually coming before God and talking to him? I can't, I can't. I've "rejected the bible's clear teaching" about EVERYTHING.

Will God even believe me when I say...

O God, you are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
    my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land 
    where there is no water.

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This post is part of a link-up on the topic of Psalm 63. To read other people's posts, click here: Craving the Divine.

3 comments:

  1. Yes, God will believe you! You are right. Your longing demonstrates your heart. You love God. It's evident. This can still be a favorite Psalm :)

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  2. You are not alone, and it's why I love this Psalm (63) David is honest with God in his struggles. He always returns to truth, and God keeps him close to His heart. God never gave up on David. You can just see the intimately divine connection betwixt God and David - and it's what He desires for all of us. We don't have to be far away from Him. We can be as close as we want to be, and I still struggle with sometimes feeling disconnected. In those moments, I remember that if I keep my mind of God, He'll keep me in perfect peace. That's always a good thing. ;-)

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  3. I feel like this sometimes too. :-/ Like I don't even know whether Christianity is the right term anymore. But I do think God loves us, mostly because of the whole Jesus bit. And there's something in the Bible that says if we know how to love others then surely God knows how to love us. (Something about not giving your kid a snake instead of food...I should look it up again.) If we know what human beings long to hear, things like "you are loved, you are worth a lot, you are accepted," then if there is a God that made us then he'd know these things too... At least I hope so.

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