Best of all, God is With Us

I haven’t written much on the blog recently.  

To be candid, the steady stream of bad news and negativity that pervades our daily life became a bit overwhelming.  It forced me to take a step back and focus on simple, daily things that bring me joy: spending time with my family, making art, being silly and the like.

I didn’t completely stop writing about faith.  I wrote a piece about Syrian refugees for www.offthepage.com that will run on August 9.  The piece helps tell the stories of residents of the Za’atari Refugee Camp and includes an interview with “Living on One” co-founder Chris Temple.     

In the midst of the daily deluge, I have found myself thinking about the Psalms.  The beauty of the Psalms, beyond the elegance of the language, comes from their honesty.  David writes about the beauty and wonder of God and God’s creation, singing their praises with the wonder of a child gazing up at the stars.  Later he rages at God, expressing his doubt, anger and disappointment in God’s seeming absence.  He drifts into tirades against his enemies before lamenting his own sin and unworthiness.  In Psalms, we see the entire scope of human emotion on display and we are given the reassurance that God is big enough for all of our emotions, big enough to hold our joy, our doubt, our anger, fear, and so much more.  

The spiritual journey rarely follows a straight path.  Each us will have moments where we are lead through lush gardens of peace and joy, as well as moments where we are lead through the withering heat of the desert.  We will have moments of ecstasy and moments of despair.  We will have moments wandering in the mundane, where we don’t quite know what we feel.  

The Psalms remind us that no matter where we are in the journey, God journeys with us.  God simultaneously beckons us forward, walks beside us, and even walks behind to protect us.  God accepts and embraces us in our joy, anger, doubt, fear, and faithfulness.  The Psalms remind us, as John Wesley said on his deathbed, “The best of all is, God is with us.”