Whats on your mind?

12 Apr

I wonder what you think about, especially when life is hard.  I have long believed in the importance of “training your brain” so your heart and mind can be at peace with God.  For me Psalm 77 shows the movement from being fearful and dispirited to focuses on God and finding peace.

The writer started by shouting out to God – trouble is all around and it is time to talk to God.  (Why do we so often wait for troubled times to talk to God?)

I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might,
I yell at the top of my lungs. He listens.

2-6 I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord;
my life was an open wound that wouldn’t heal.
When friends said, “Everything will turn out all right,”
I didn’t believe a word they said.
I remember God—and shake my head.
I bow my head—then wring my hands.
I’m awake all night—not a wink of sleep;
I can’t even say what’s bothering me.
I go over the days one by one,
I ponder the years gone by.
I strum my lute all through the night,
wondering how to get my life together.

Note that the writer is not helped by talking to friends or by staying up all night trying to figure out their lives on their own.  The path of worry and anxiety leads to doubt in God.

7-10 Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good?
Will he never smile again?
Is his love worn threadbare?
Has his salvation promise burned out?
Has God forgotten his manners?
Has he angrily stalked off and left us?
“Just my luck,” I said. “The High God goes out of business
just the moment I need him.”

The writer looks to what God has done.  As my mother would say, “count your many blessings, count them one by one.”  The writer focuses on God, what our faith history, and the wonders that God has done in our world.  It is honing in on the nature of God that transforms the writer’s heart and mind.

11-12 Once again I’ll go over what God has done,
lay out on the table the ancient wonders;
I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished,
and give a long, loving look at your acts.

13-15 O God! Your way is holy!
No god is great like God!
You’re the God who makes things happen;
you showed everyone what you can do—
You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble,
rescued the children of Jacob and Joseph.

16-19 Ocean saw you in action, God,
saw you and trembled with fear;
Deep Ocean was scared to death.
Clouds belched buckets of rain,
Sky exploded with thunder,
your arrows flashing this way and that.
From Whirlwind came your thundering voice,
Lightning exposed the world,
Earth reeled and rocked.
You strode right through Ocean,
walked straight through roaring Ocean,
but nobody saw you come or go.

The writer begins with the natural world speaking of God’s wonder and power, but then moves on to talk about how God has led the people.  Perhaps it is easier to see the majesty of God in nature, but I think we really look to God to direct our lives.

20 Hidden in the hands of Moses and Aaron,
You led your people like a flock of sheep.

So, as the modern jargon puts it, here’s the take away:  When your mind is cluttered with pain and hurt and fear, name it all on place it before God.  Focus on the good works and wonders of our God to transform and heal your life.

Peace.

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