Two Kinds of…

Sometimes I think I have only two kinds of days: (1) Days where I sing “Jesus, Jesus, please come today.” or (2) Days where I feel that I am the very inspiration for the funky, pick-me-up style of Pharrell Williams.  Do you know what I mean?  I am either seeing the goodness in every little thing, or I am longing for my Savior with the abject thirst of the most barren desert.  And this pendulum from grateful to needy isn’t really daily at all, it’s minute by minute.  The truth is I have two kinds of moments.  And I guess I could worry that divulging this sounds rather bipolar, but I actually believe it’s the human condition.  In Psalms poems of thanksgiving and praise are right there next to desperate pleas for deliverance.  So I figure I’m in good company.

In fact, I think alcohol and sex and drugs and zombie-like consumption of “entertainment” mask the heart’s longing for more, for fulfillment, for Jesus.  When we experience Him in the here and now — His love, His purpose, His story, we feel hopeful.  But we live in a fallen world and sometimes the pressure of all that’s not-yet-redeemed is crushing.  We can taste the kingdom of God, but it’s not yet our whole reality.

So maybe it’s totally natural to have your heart burst with joy over your child’s smile and cuddly nature, but to then feel utterly discouraged when they then lie to you over an ice cream sandwich (Hypothetically, of course.  But please don’t mention this “hypothetical” to my middle son).

Maybe it’s totally natural to be awestruck at the beauty of sunlight shimmering on snow, but to then get on the Internet and be heartbroken by all that’s wrong with the world.

Maybe it’s totally natural to feel loved and affirmed and connected with friends, and then have one awkward interaction and feel insufferably dorky.

Maybe it’s totally natural to laugh with your family to the point of utter hysterics, and then be physically restraining brothers who have it out for each other just moments later.

Yes, there is tension in this life full of blessings and joy and pain and sorrow.  But we need not try to numb the emotions, deny them nor avoid them.  No, we should bring them before God just like the writers of the Psalms.

When I am discouraged I can pray, among others, Psalm 5:1-3.

O Lord, hear me as I pray;
pay attention to my groaning.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I pray to no one but you.
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

When I am so “happy” I could inspire new Pharrell Williams tunes, I can happily sing, among others, Psalm 103:1-5.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

No matter where you are at emotionally there’s an app for that, and the app is called The Psalms. May I be faithful to read them, and may you too know the blessing of reading the ancient words that somehow express your very own heart.