April 16, 2021
Psalms 4 CEB
Clergy, Associate Director of Connectional Ministries for Discipleship
Smoky Mountain District
Psalms 4 CEB
For the music leader. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.
4 Answer me when I cry out, my righteous God!
Set me free from my troubles!
Have mercy on me!
Listen to my prayer!
2 How long, you people,
will my reputation be insulted?
How long will you continue
to love what is worthless
and go after lies? Selah
3 Know this: the Lord takes
personal care of the faithful.
The Lord will hear me
when I cry out to him.
4 So be afraid, and don’t sin!
Think hard about it in your bed
and weep over it! Selah
5 Bring righteous offerings,
and trust the Lord!
6 Many people say,
“We can’t find goodness anywhere.
The light of your face has left us, Lord!”[a]
7 But you have filled my heart with more joy
than when their wheat and wine are everywhere!
8 I will lie down and fall asleep in peace
because you alone, Lord, let me live in safety.
A friend and colleague, Cathy Lee Phillips, tells the story about Silver in the Slop. She grew up on a farm, and the local restaurant would save food waste that her family would use as slop to feed the pigs. Yet often when the pigs finished eating the slop, her family found silverware in the bottom of the feeding trough. Life is often like that: in the sloppiness of life we discover the silver lining – God’s joy and blessing.
The Psalmist begins the song with a cry, trusting in God’s righteousness – “Set me free from my troubles! Have mercy on me! Listen to my prayer.” No matter what the psalmist was facing, the psalmist trusted that the “Lord takes personal care of the faithful, The Lord will hear me when I cry out to him … that you have filled my heart with more joy” than all the blessings in life.
As Easter people, we live on the other side of Christ’s resurrection. We live with the hope and joy that no matter what happens in life, Christ’s love abides with us and God richly blesses us. One of my spiritual practices is to examine my day listing – even on horrible, difficult days -- the ways God has brought me joy and blessings. What is “sloppy” – difficult in your life today? Where can you trust and discover God’s blessing in your life today? Offer a prayer of thanksgiving.
Loving God, even when my life is difficult or full of sorrow, hear my cry. Open my heart to trust in your abiding presence and to see your abundant blessing surrounding me. Amen.