As I read through my morning devotions today, I felt as though I were reading an entry in my own personal diary. I often feel that way when reading through the Psalms, but today's passage was entirely too familiar.
Due to the snow last week, Jason was out of work for three days. He receives an hourly wage, not a salary. So no work means no pay! After the Christmas holidays, no work is not a good thing. With that financial strain already on me, I found out that due to budget cuts, another small bit of our monthly income was no longer going to be available. The strain increased, but still I was determined to trust the Lord and not worry. Unfortunately, my faith departed quickly after my grocery store trip this morning.
I left out early to do my grocery shopping because I know that our local grocery store does major discounts over the weekend. Usually, if I go in there first thing on Monday morning, I can get meat and produce for 50% off or more. Since we were very low on groceries (especially meat and produce), I was looking forward to the great deals. You know where I'm going, don't you? There were hardly any deals this morning. I don't know if the weather caused the problem or what, but there was hardly anything marked down, and the stuff that was marked down wasn't reduced by much. I nearly cried.
I came home with fewer groceries than I had hoped and still spent more money than I had planned. I was discouraged and confused. "What's up, Lord?" I asked. "Is it not enough that we're pinching pennies? Did you have to take away the good deals too?" Please understand that I wasn't speaking in anger. I was truly seeking an answer. And that's when I read today's devotions. For sake of time and space, I won't quote the entire two psalms, but I will pull out the verses that spoke to me.
But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. . . For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. . .In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. . . I am so troubled that I cannot speak. . .I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? - Ps. 73, 77
Sound familiar? Yea, it did to me too. Fortunately, the passage does not stop there. It continues on with instructions on how to deal with my fears and lack of faith.
And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.
I will remember. I will meditate. I will witness. How about you? It has to be better than the alternative!