17 When the righteous cry out, the Lord listens;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he saves those whose spirits are crushed.
One of the most interesting things about this psalm is the superscription: “Of David, when he pretended to be crazy before Abimelech, who banished him so that he left.” (If you don’t know that story, you can read about it in 1 Samuel 21:10-15).
I started pondering this: what about this psalm sounds crazy?
Maybe it’s as simple as the assertion that God can be trusted, even when all the evidence in our lives points in the opposite direction. Surely David knows that not every cry seems to be heard; that those who do evil often get away with it for a long time before they’re brought down; that even the faithful sometimes don’t get everything they need. Surely the one described as “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14) knows all this!
There are times when faith feels crazy…when believing that God can do something good with all the mess that is our lives just seems like wishful thinking.
And yet, I’ve seen it happen over and over again. I’ve seen God turn awful things into beautiful ones. I’ve seen people act courageously and selflessly on behalf of the people they love, even at great cost to themselves. I’ve seen people endure difficulty that I never could have imagined, and come out the other side not just surviving, but thriving. I’ve even seen people face their own death with a grace, strength and power that’s nothing short of amazing.
Maybe faith is crazy. But I know that our God cares. And I believe our God can be trusted, despite all evidence to the contrary.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
When has God shown up for you in moments of great difficulty and struggle? Who do you know that needs to be encouraged with a message of faith today?
Prayer: God, when the evidence of my eyes is not enough to secure my faith, remind me that’s exactly the point. Help me to remember that it’s not crazy to trust through the long night until your sun rises once more. Amen.