When my four children were in elementary school they came home every week with Friday folders filled with papers! I tried to look at and appreciate all of their work, but there were so many papers, we couldn’t possibly save them all! So, I would choose what I thought were the most significant papers and very casually (and sometimes with a little guilt) slip the rest into the recycling bin.
Psalm 56:8 is part of a poem that is also a prayer set to music. The writer’s prayer brings God a “Friday folder” filled with pages of reports about enemies and trouble. Unlike the Friday folders at my house, God doesn’t slip anything into the recycling bin. Nothing is overlooked or cast aside. Every tear, and all the troubles that caused those tears, matters.
In the Bible, God never promises that we will be without trouble. God does promise to be with us and to love us unconditionally—on the good days, the bad days—even the awfully bad days of the pandemic.
These past few months have been unbelievably hard! Psalm 56 assures us that we can trust God to care for us, especially when we hurt. Even our tears are precious to God.
God of love and compassion, in these times of trouble, it can feel as if we are alone and without your help. Help us hear the voice of your Spirit, reminding us that you are with us, that it is safe to cry out to you with our grief, pain, and confusion. Help us trust in your great love for us. Grant us your peace in the days to come. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Little by Little: Step of faith
No matter how significant or insignificant you think they might be, write down the losses, pain, disappointments, and emotions you have experienced over the last year. Present the list to God in whatever form that works for you–a letter, a list, a drawing. Trust that God will receive these with care and compassion.
Invitations for sharing your spiritual journey:
- Worship with Maplewood UMC Facebook live on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. facebook.com/mumcstl
- Try out a virtual discussion group that focuses on each week’s Bible verse. maplewoodumc.org for days and times and who to contact for a zoom link.