March 15, 2021
by: Gabriel Tseng

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
My bones suffer mortal agony
    as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God
. – Psalm 42:5-11

The ambivalence of my feelings in contradiction to my faith is a constant struggle. The Psalms focus me to align what my heart is revealing about me while creating distance for the voice of God to be heard. In the crevices of those times, in the moments of quiet, in the awareness of my heart and all that it contains, big words of “theology” and “faith” become much more visceral and real. Where book knowledge in my head becomes practical, tangible, and raw in the realised presence of God. 

A call to remember what was past but what is still constant churns the heart and draws us to him. The unsettled nature of pain in his questions and the anguish of those unanswered questions in the midst of scoffers and doubters. The mystery of God is prevalent and shadowed by silence and ambivalence that requires faith in the midst of a world that is “here, but not fully.” We look into the mirror dimly and imperfectly, yet we lunge out with arms wide with full abandon, sometimes. Our faith is not a blind faith, but we take steps with much wisdom and discernment into hope and a sure future where God guides our steps. Our faith seems full of contradictions at times, especially the mystery and the tangible. Where mystery and the very real meet, we find Jesus, in His very life we see God, and in His death and resurrection all the more. He is a profound mystery, yet guides us tangibly, even directing us in how we process and speak to the Lord, at times in victorious song, and at other times, in honest discord as a child, when looking for his Father. 

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