Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I'm researching Psalm 22, which begins, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" While I know God neither slumbers or sleeps (psalm 121) I wonder if God takes a vacation?

I know as my family prepares to camp this summer, I make plans to vacate several of my identities: mom, pastor, chief complainer and put on a new one: camper. But sometimes I think I try to take a vacation from being a child of God. I forget who and whose I am. Well sometimes, to be honest I set aside my values and jump headfirst into self-centered hedonism. Isn't that how we define vacation?

Does God do the same? At the beginning of this psalm, the author certainly feels the absence of God's presence. This is a LAMENT! The psalmist is picturing God off having an iced tea under a perfect sky while dressed in bermuda shorts and attended by bikini clad angels, rather than saving him from his current predicament. (wow that's just wrong) Where is my constant companion? Where did God go?

True to form the psalmist cries out in frustration to God and expresses the dire nature of the present situation in gripping (griping?!) detail and then remembers God's faithfulness, the blessings of the Holy Spirit and the sacrifice of Jesus.

While this psalm may remind one of the saying "If you feel that God is far away, guess who moved?" it isn't that simplistic. Upon further review the psalmist stands. It is because of his faith in God's deliverance that his suffering is increased by the mocking of his enemies. It isn't a lack of faith or unrighteous living that has created this feeling of distance from God. It is a difference of vision. We are not always in the same rhythm as God. We do not see as God sees and we expect that God's success in human history will be equivalent with our success.

People who are acting on faith sometimes make assumptions about how God will act. then we act on that belief whether or not it is accurate. When we find ourselves alone and unsupported we lament because we feel that God has not lived into God's part of the bargain. It is then that we think that God must be on vacation.

I found my answer in Isaiah 40:31. I have that scripture on a ring that I wear as a daily reminder: "Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up on wings and soar as eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow weak." Instead of ditching my christian identity this summer, perhaps I will wait upon the Lord. I will serve.(get it "wait" upon the Lord) I will rest. I will prepare to fly. I will condition myself to run the race set before me. I will walk with God and not grow weak. (Wow I think I mixed about 5 scripture references in there) Then if (when?!) the world gets abusive and I feel that God is no longer by my side, I will remember that my vacation is in the Lord. If I simply wait, God will save. And generations will know God's grace through the stories we tell of God showing up whether we work or vacation.

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