Daily Devotions
 

Hello Good Shepherd!

During these summer months our Daily Devotions will continue with Good Shepherd’s Pastors along with Jen Jarman and Matthew Petersen each taking turns writing them week by week.  The topics and themes will be as varied as the Staff members themselves!  We hope you will check us out each day as you continue your daily Vine Time with God.  Open yourself to what God is saying to you through this writing, and pray that the Spirit will bring forth fruit from your life for the sake of the world. 

Also, as a way to encourage each other, use the comment box at the end of each day’s devotion to leave a thought, a prayer or a reflection of your own.  

Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion
Pastor Pat Badkey

Daily Devotion

The Psalms are sometimes called the prayer book of the Bible.  Perhaps the reason for this is that the 150 psalms give voice to all the different moods we might feel as God’s faithful, prayerful, pilgrim people.

I never regularly watched The Simpsons when it was on Sunday evenings.  However, I did watch one show that has stayed with me.  I can say that because it was the 6th episode of first season of the Simpsons, titled Moaning Lisa.   The gist of the story is Lisa wakes up blue one morning, worried about life.  Her mother, Marge tells her to put on a smile, and to suppress her feelings because this will lead to happiness.  But in the end Lisa learns to play the blues, express her feelings and Marge supports the expression of Lisa’s genuine feelings.  I like the wisdom Marge displays, in the end, as Lisa’s mother.  

So here is what I am wondering, over the last few months because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the last few weeks because of the racial tension in our nation, have you woke up some mornings feeling blue and worried about life?  If so, I do not think you are alone because it is only human to have such feelings.  Let’s face it, there is a lot going on in our world right now.  

That is why I am drawn to a type of psalm which scholars call, lament psalms.  Sometimes we need to “sing” our blues, express what is going on inside of us.  But here is what I have observed as a pastor, sometimes as followers of Jesus, we feel bad, we feel guilty, when we are not happy and joyful all the time.  Yet we are only human, right?  And yes, life can be overwhelming. 

So I am drawn to the lament psalms because sometimes I need to raise my voice and ask God, How long, O LORD, will you forget me forever?, Psalm 13:1 or Why, O LORD, do you stand so far off?  Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?, Psalm 10: 1.  I know when I raise my voice in this way, I am in the company of other beloved children of God.  How do I know this?  Because there are 59 psalms which are labelled as lament psalms by scholars (out of 150 psalms) and even Jesus raises his voice in lament on the cross when he asks, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? – Psalm 22:1.

The other thing I appreciate about the lament psalms, is that often after expressing lament, after expressing feelings of abandonment, desertion and pain, the psalmist will end the psalm with an expression of trust in God and God’s love.  It is as if the ability to name the sadness and blues, makes room for God’s love to break through and renew hope for the psalmist.  

So I am wondering, how have you expressed your feelings when you have felt blue?  Is expressing those feelings to God helpful and if so why? When you are blue, are there words of hope from scripture, you return to again, which renew your hope?

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