A Lament for our Country

“Give ear to my prayer, O God; And do not hide Yourself from my supplication. Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted.”
Psalm 55:1-2 NASB

woman-praying-300x187Did you know that over 60 of the Psalms are considered laments? That’s not a word we use very often today. A lament, according to Merriam-Webster, is to express sorrow, regret, or unhappiness about something. We see a true expression of this in Scripture, especially in the Psalms. There is no faking it with God – complaint, anger, doubt, and worry is spewed out. There’s a sense of wrestling with God, yet He is never blamed. Instead, confidence, praise and joy are found within each lament.

Here in the United States, our presidential election is just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but the direction our country is headed grieves my soul. I find myself crying out to God for mercy and healing for our once great land. The fulfillment of Isaiah 5:20 (NASB) is becoming a reality:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Many of my prayers have become laments. Would you join me in crying out to the God of the universe to turn our hearts back to Him? But as with most laments within the Psalms, let us not forget to offer our declarations of praise and adoration to God Almighty. Let us not forget to request His help and intercession. Let us not forget to confess our own sins, as well as the sins of our country. Our God is still in control and in that we put our hope.

O God, in You and You alone I put my trust because there is no god but You. I know Your truths, power and salvation, yet many in our land are clueless of Your existence and ways. Whatever is right in their own eyes is their pursuit. Perversions and sexual immoralities are embraced as normal. Goodness is treated with suspicion and absolutes are deemed obsolete. Our country is such a deplorable mess. Help us, O God! Forgive us for turning our eyes away from You. Revive, restore, and heal us once again. Bring salvation to the leaders of this country. Our lives are in Your hands. All praise and honor and power be to You. Amen and Amen!

[Digging deeper – Psalms 11, 12, 56, 71, 85, and 90]

Confident in Him,

Beverly <><

Heart Matters: Garbage In, Garbage Out

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7, NASB


Garbage In, Garbage Out

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

Luke 6:45, NASB

file371235865874The Florida sun was beginning to get the best of me-as were the large crowds and the sea of selfie sticks we were dodging everywhere we turned. It was the last day of our week-long summer vacation at a popular theme park in the Sunshine State, and I had reached my quota for crowds, overpriced food, and humidity.

While waiting in line for one of the major headline attractions, a woman tapped me on the shoulder and politely asked if she could cut ahead in line and join her family in front of us. “Of course!” I replied as I moved my kids to the side to let her through…and the 13 others that were with her. Thirteen people! I counted them!

I was mad. Furious. Could have spit nails, mad! My husband tried to talk me off the ledge, but that made it worse because then I was mad at him too!

I stewed for a while and made some snarky comments, and my husband asked, “Why does it matter? It is going to delay our plans by about 30 seconds?” True. He had a point. I hate it when that happens.

That’s when I came back to reality and realized that my angry (and ridiculous) response was completely out of proportion to the “slight” that had just occurred. I have come to realize that a disproportionate response of anger to a minor situation is always a red flag. It tells me I need to check my heart and see what is really going on.

The problem was easy to see. My normal time with God each morning had been replaced with simply scrolling through devotions on my phone before falling into bed exhausted each night that week. My prayers had become superficial and not much more than an item to check off my list.

The reality is, I can’t pour out what I’m not filled with. That week I had more than my fill of the world instead of God, and that’s what came spilling out the first chance it got. That left me looking, feeling, and acting like the world: selfish, angry, and somewhat hostile. My attitude screamed, it’s all about me!

If I want others to see Jesus in me, it’s crucial I meet with Him myself.

It’s foolish to believe we can survive physically by eating only once a week or even once a day. The same is true for our spiritual nourishment. We can’t be nourished spiritually if we aren’t feeding ourselves a steady diet of God’s word and the things of God.

Seeking Him,