Read Psalm 85.
The Psalmist speaks of God’s care and provision for God’s people, but he also speaks of a God who has or had good reason to be “hot with anger” towards God’s people. There seems to be a cadence of not just the people crying out, but God crying out to the people as well. I like how in The Message translation, in v. 6, David is asking God to give the people a “fresh start.” What a powerful image of God’s redemptive work! “Then your people will laugh and sing!” Relent → Fresh Start → Laugh → Sing → Good deal!
Often, we think of people crying out and asking things like “how long” or “this is too hard and miserable,” kind of fist shaking to a God who it seems like can end this at any moment. You know… “Hey, God… end this pandemic! We want to laugh and sing again.” But here in Psalm 85 it is almost as if God is asking “how long?” Are you ready to not live so foolishly? Are you ready to be my people? Are you ready for my arrival? How might God be crying out with an invitational tone to each of us?
I can’t help but think of all the students I have worked with over the years who often hesitate to do or try what God is calling them to do, because they are not yet adequately credentialed in ways that makes them feel “certified.” We all feel like we can be more prepared. But how long are we going to wait while God is crying out to us… How long? Aren’t you ready to laugh and sing and praise the one who comes again and again?
Lord, give me the courage to respond to your invitation upon my life. Help me to feel equipped today to honor the unique call you have given to me. I hope in Your truth, that “sprouts green from the ground,” that will bear fruit. Amen.
Rev. John Rogers
Presbyterian Collegiate Ministries of North Carolina (PCMofNC)