When I Am Afraid Iâ€™m depending Too Much on Others
As If God Isn’t Enough
Psalm 77 has long been one of my favorite Psalms. Opening with a desperate cry to God for help, the writer pleads to be heard.Â Losing hope, he wonders â€œHow long, Lord, how long.â€ Â Finding comfort elusive, in desperation he says, â€œI will remember the deeds of the LORD:Â I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.â€
Hope returns.Â He is comforted. The chapter that began with lament turns to a psalm of praise for Godâ€™s leading, his protection and guidance.
I have found comfort in this Psalm over the years. I have believed the truth of remembering. To remember we need to record Godâ€™s activity in our daily lives. I did this. I taught others to do the same.
So why didnâ€™t it work for me anymore â€“ to â€œremember the deeds of the Lordâ€ and then praise him as I remembered what he has done. The changes and challenges seemed too hard, too big. And by this time I knew things donâ€™t always â€œwork outâ€ – whatever that meant. (By the way, please donâ€™t say â€œit will work outâ€ to those walking in the dark; it minimizes the grief and pain they are experiencing.)
I wished for more faith, felt guilty I didnâ€™t seem to have it. I leaned hard on my friends. They prayed for me when I could not. They believed for me when I did not. They hugged me when I was sad, while encouraging me to embrace the grief and not run from it.Â My younger pastor friend, who was the age of my brother read everything I wrote, encouraging me to share my story with others and offered to let me be his sister. (I forthwith adopted him). Others spoke encouraging words to me, when I was so unsure of myself. One had lost her brother and I knew she knew. They offered no easy answers, because there were none.
They were God to me â€“ God with skin. Yet the question remained, why couldnâ€™t I remember what God had done for me in the past and have it be enough?
And then I noticed the last verse. Â I had read it many times before, but this time I saw something new:
â€œYour path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaronâ€ Ps. 77:19-20
God led them. He did great deeds.
And . . Â Â
Godâ€™s leading included the people he sent to them.
Suddenly it all fell into place. Instead of feeling shame at the niggling thought I should have been more faith-filled, not so dependent on others, I read with gratefulness this reminder â€“ even thousands of years ago, using others was one of Godâ€™s ways of meeting the needs of his people.
We are not meant to walk this faith journey alone. We need each other. We bear one anotherâ€™s burdens. We were created for community, for connection with others.
When we remember what God has done and it doesnâ€™t seem enough, let us remember that the â€œdeeds of the Lordâ€ include the resources he has given us and often those resources include people.
linking with: Â Kelly Chripczuk and “Small Wonders”Â Community