Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Psalm 55:1-15 (NRSV)
Give ear to my prayer, O God;
do not hide yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and answer me;
I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught by the noise of the enemy,
because of the clamor of the wicked.
For they bring trouble upon me,
and in anger they cherish enmity against me.
My heart is in anguish within me,
the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
truly, I would flee far away;
I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
from the raging wind and tempest.”
Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech;
for I see violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go around it
on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
do not depart from its marketplace.
It is not enemies who taunt me—
I could bear that;
it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me—
I could hide from them.
But it is you, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend,
with whom I kept pleasant company;
we walked in the house of God with the throng.
Let death come upon them;
let them go down alive to Sheol;
for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.
It gives me great solace in knowing that raw emotions are expressed and validated in scripture. Here, the author has a deep concern and is panicked when confronting thoughts of betrayal, so strong that the writer wishes to escape reality. Words describe the situation such as “distraught,” “anguish,” and “trouble of their heart.” The author seems to be broken by the delight loved ones get by creating enmity towards him. That sounds incredibly difficult. These people were friends! These people worshipped with David! Alas, nothing is new under the sun.
One clear example of this kind of anguish in modern times could be from social media. Too often, I have encountered and experienced, “trolling” or “stalking” on a person’s social media page from so called “friends.” They target those who hold differences of opinion, political beliefs, orientations, race, or for the thrill of the ego. One post is made, followed by scrolls and scrolls of negative comments. The worst part about this situation is that these are people that are friends. I have had people who proclaim to love me, blast me on social media, and then see me in person and presume no harm was done. Has this ever happened to you? Others too have felt anxiety, stress, sleepless nights, and a deep desire to run away. Questions have been raised. How can people who believe in the same God and worship in the same way, cause each other so much pain?
Take heart! You are not alone. Scripture reminds us of a valuable lesson. It is okay to confront God with feelings of disappointment, anger, anguish, and the desire to run away. God is loving enough to hold all of our emotions.
Unfortunately, there is no restitution from this scripture, only the awakening of a question: How can we as Christians, stand against the misconception that others need to feel less so that some can feel more?
Go, stand against the myth that all are not equal. Stand against the myth that diversity is not equality. Stand firm in the faith and go in peace, knowing that God’s love is enough for all.
God of love, grant us the vulnerability to share our deep emotions with you. Console us when we feel anguish. Forgive those who cause harm, especially the ones we call friends. Amen.
Go with God!