Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Spiritual Candy & the Cup of Suffering

A challenging question was posed in my Scripture Union Bible study by Roger Pooley, a teacher at Keele University in the UK. He was writing about Psalm 145, and asked: What is it we want from God? Spiritual candy? Or something more profoundly nourishing?

Father, I’m content to munch on spiritual candy. It’s not junk food. It’s Ghirardelli. Inspiring music, a strong sermon, insightful teaching, a testimony that motivates. Pass the bowl. And thank you for the encouragement.

Lord Christ, I’m reluctant to accept your cup of suffering. To bear another’s burden, to be discomforted, to stand up or stand out for my faith. That’s not my preferred fare, but I do know it’s the best form of spiritual nourishment.

While I don’t wish it on anyone, my own faith has grown stronger when the anxiety level was highest, when the fear of falling was intense. It has been the low times, the scary times, where your presence was palpable, where trust was taught and learned.

King David captures an absolute truth:
The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down…the LORD is near to all who call on him…he hears their cry and saves them...the LORD watches over all who love him…

(from Psalm 145:14-20)

Holy Spirit, I pray for recurring bursts of inspiration and wisdom to appreciate the times of testing. Amen.