Devotion - May 26

[Psalms 126-130 / Proverbs 26 / 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17]

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
—Psalm 130:5-6

The psalms of ascent (Psalms 120-134) are 15 short psalms that were most likely sung by pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem three times a year for the great Jewish festivals. Given the themes of hope and waiting and restored fortunes they may well have been pulled together in this collection after the Babylonian exile.

Eugene Peterson in his book, “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction”, compares these pilgrimages to Jerusalem to Christian discipleship — “a life lived upward toward God, an existence that advanced  from one level to another in developing maturity.” His reflections on hope seem apt for today:

“Hoping does not mean doing nothing. It is not fatalistic resignation. It means going about our assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and the conclusions. It is not compelled to work away at keeping up appearances with a bogus spirituality. It is the opposite of desperate and panicky manipulations, of scurrying and worrying.

And hoping is not dreaming. It is not spinning an illusion or fantasy to protect us from our boredom or our pain. It means a confident, alert expectation that God will do what he said he will do. It is imagination put in the harness of faith. It is a willingness to let God do it his way and in his time. It is the opposite of making plans that we demand that God put into effect, telling him both how and when to do it. That is not hoping in God but bullying God. "I pray to GOD-my life a prayer-and wait for what he'll say and do. My life's on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning.”

Hoping with you today,
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