Time with God

I’ve been a bit sick lately, and it has taken its toll on my spirit. I was having an especially hard time coming up with something to write for this month’s devotional. After a few failed attempts I went to a book I started reading in the spring and put down for summer mystery fair. The book: “Who Needs God” by Rabbi Harold Kushner. I immediately got exactly what I needed…time with God. The chapter was on prayer and what we get out of it.

Rabbi Kushner refers to Psalm 73 as a “spiritual masterpiece, …. It is the account of a man who found himself doubting God because of the world’s unfairness and found his answer not in theology but in the experience of God’s presence.”

 

Psalm 73: 1-3, 13-17, 23-27
(Translation from the Tanakh, a New Translation of the Holy Scriptures, by the Jewish Publication Society)

God is truly good to Israel,
To those whose heart is pure.
As for me, my feet had almost strayed,
My steps were nearly led off course,
For I envied the profligate,
I saw the wicked at ease….
[I thought to myself] It was for nothing that I kept my heart pure
And washed my hands of innocence,
Seeing that I have been constantly afflicted,
That each morning brings new torments.
Had I decided to say those things,
I should have been false to the circle of Your disciples.
So I applied myself to try to understand this,
But it seemed a hopeless task
Till I entered Your sanctuary…..
You held my right hand,
You guided me by Your counsels
And led me toward honor.
Whom else have I in heaven?
And having You, I want no one on earth.
My mind and my body may fail,
But God is the Rock of my mind, my portion forever.
Those who keep far from You perish…
But as for me, nearness to God is my good.


There are rich people in the world who seem to have it all. Are they truly happy?  When we find ourselves jealous of their wealth our “steps were nearly led off course….” When it all seems hopeless, all we need do is enter God’s sanctuary. He will take us by the hand and remind us of his love. The answer is not an explanation from God about why good things happen to seemingly bad people. The answer is the experience of being with God.

“But once we have tasted the presence of God, we will no longer envy the wicked.” Martin Buber

Prayer isn’t getting our wish list delivered. When we get what the author of Psalm 73 is saying we come to God just to give thanks.

 “As for me, nearness to God is my good.”

 Abba, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for loving me. May I never forget that your nearness cures all! Amen.

Julie Weldon

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