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Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
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Thursday, June 4

Today’s Readings: Psalm 27; 1 Samuel 6:19-7:17; John 15:1-8; 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:5; Psalm 77

Lots of us carry baggage with us regarding things we learned about faith when we were very young. That’s because when we were young, the principles of our faith were presented in age-appropriate ways that tended to be rather black and white in nature. Instead of reflecting on those principles and thinking to ourselves, “That principle was helpful for me when I was 8 – but now it’s time for me to engage the principle and arrive at a mature understanding of it”; we hold on to that childhood belief. Understandably that decision causes us a lot of trouble in our spiritual lives as adults. Let me give you an example. As a child, many of us learn the cliché: “Everything happens for a reason”. Some of those reasons we understand; some we don’t. One of the ramifications of this belief is that we are taught that it is wrong to get upset and cry out to God from the very depths of our pain. Such a response, we are told would demonstrate a lack of faith. Instead, we are told to just suck it up (i.e. keep our mouths shut) and “trust God”. Thankfully, in today’s second psalm the psalmist puts such a notion to rest and instead demonstrates what I would call a mature faith. He gets real with God and holds nothing back. “I yell out to my God, I yell out with all my might,” the psalmist begins. “I yell at the top of my lungs.” Not exactly the kind of behavior a second-grade Sunday school teacher would approve. The psalmist then goes one step further by asking those difficult questions that our childhood Sunday school teachers would have told us were rude – questions like “Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good?” “Is [God’s] love worn threadbare?” “Has [God] angrily stalked off and left us?” It’s only because the psalmist was able to get, however, and practice a mature faith that he was able to let go of the pain he carried and move into a healthy relationship with God. Today I wonder if there is a part of your experience that you’ve kept out of your relationship with God – a part that you worried might cause you to lash out at God inappropriately if you accessed. If so, re-read today’s second psalm and use it as permission to “go there”. It’s only when we “go there” that we are finally able to leave remnants of our childish faith behind and grow into a mature faith that brings all of ourselves and our experiences into our relationship with God. Til next time…

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