Psalm 73

Truly God is good to me – and sometimes I even manage to act like I deserve it – act like I am upright and pure in heart
But then, I stumble into doubt, slip into darkness
I stop valuing goodness and peace and start desiring prosperity and power
I want power, success, wealth; I imagine a better body, fewer problems, more self-confidence, more control is what I need to be happy
I fantasize about being better than others, above mundane problems, above heaven and earth
I imagine the praise and adulation I would have from others
They would look to me; their envy would sustain me; my success would quiet my doubts
Otherwise what do I have? What is the good of humility, godliness, innocence? What has it gotten me? What good has come of all my efforts?
No good, no good at all. I cannot quiet my demons, I cannot create my peace
Trying just wears me out
Only in Your house, only in Your grace, only in Your wisdom do I find peace
Only in You do I find the true power that destroys all the false gods that I worship, that I envy, that I think will be the answers I need
I wake to Your grace and my phantom gods disappear and shrink to small ugly things
Here I can do no better than make the psalmist present:
When my soul is embittered, when my heart is pricked with envy
Then I am stupid and ignorant, no better than an unthinking beast
But even then, even when I forget Your love, Your power, Your grace
Even then I am always in Your love, even then You hold onto me
Even then You wait for me to remember, You wait to welcome me back
Again and again
Whom have I in heaven but You? What should I desire but Your peace
All else fails, but You are the strength of my heart forever
Every mean and small part of me, all my terrible Ds, will perish
You will put an end to all my wrong-headedness, my false heartedness
You will keep me close, You will be my refuge, You will open my heart and my mouth to tell of Your power and grace. Amen

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