When I call, give me answers. God, take my side! Click here to read all Psalm 4
There is honesty in the psalms that I truly find refreshing. The very first verse of Psalm 4 says something I have thought so often, but rarely have the courage and chutzpah to say aloud actually to God. In moments of prayer, we long for answers. In moments of prayer, we want God to say, "You know, Wes, you are absolutely right. You are brilliant!" (Sometimes God's imaginary answers are almost embarrassing.)
But more often than not, I don't get immediate answers, emails, or texts from God with simple solutions to my prayers. It takes time...waiting...patience. Hence, why I want to join with the psalmists and say, "Please God, just give me an answer...and if it is not too much trouble...um...take my side."
If you read the rest of the Psalm you will see that the hymn/prayer/poetry of the psalm goes on to recall how previously, in the past, the psalmist was in a jam (between a rock and hard place) and God got the psalmist out of that fine messy he had gotten himself into before. And so, the psalmist trusts that it will happen again. But each passing second is a weight upon the psalmist's shoulders.
When we are waiting for medical tests or job interviews or for some situation to be resolved, looking back can help, but it distracts us for only so long. Soon, we are back in the present moment, waiting and wondering why are things not hurrying up?
In the next set of verses, the Psalmist recounts what people are saying to her about her faith. People laugh, scorn, and generally caught up in the so-called wisdom of the world. But the Psalmist will not relent. When others want the Psalmist to turn away from God and hunger for more in this world, the psalmist suddenly has the courage and chutzpah to say an emphatic, "No!"
I am not sure I always have the courage to resist the lure of more in this world. Such a desire was made famous in the 1980's movie, Wall Street where Michael Douglas character talking to a group of people says, "Greed is good." He goes on to extol how greed drives people to work harder. But at some point, more is just more. Another pair of shoes is just another pair of shoes. Another iphone is just another iphone. Sure it may have a cool new feature, but we can be certain that Apple is already working on the next phone and even the next generation after that. The drive for more leaves the psalmist, and many today, saying, "Enough already."
And to realize also the truth that God is enough for all of us. God's grace is enough to fill our lives with joy. God's love is enough to get us through the waiting. God's presence is enough even when we don't get an answer quickly or the answer we'd like.
When we arrive at that place, we sense more than a trace of God's grace that makes all the difference.
May it be so for you and me this day and this week in the midst of our waiting.