If we are honest, things like a lack of confidence, self-doubt, apprehension, timidity, and complacency often plague our daily existence. Unexpected turns in circumstance elicit fear inside of us. Uncertainty about the future creates anxiety. Unpredictable upswings and downswings of reality even paralyze us. We lose hope. Joy vanishes. And most importantly the wonder of God dissipates in cynical apathy.
Sound familiar? The book of Psalms is very much aware of these realities of human existence. The Psalmist talks about his heart being like wax that has melted (22.14). His life feels like withering grass (103.15). He is a fugitive in desperate search for a shelter (71.1). Where is hope to be found?
The Psalms never deny the harsh realities of the fallen world. They never invite us to escape them. They never promise a detour or a quick fix. Instead they equip us with the tools we need to live in reality. Like a map and compass, they slowly reorient and guide us. Like a magnifying glass or a pair of binoculars, they give us new perspectives and fresh ways of seeing.
Pictures, metaphors, and images are the Psalms way of getting deep into our souls. One of the images that the Psalms use is that of a child. More precisely, a child-like faith (131.1-3). Even more specifically a child-like capacity to wonder and stand in awe. Child-like faith hopes, trusts, clings…regardless of the challenges, in the face of trouble, in the middle of uncertainty. It refuses to give up on the sense of life as an adventure.
Abraham Heschel put it succinctly, “Awe precedes faith.” The Psalms would agree. They invite us to come and stand in awe of God…despite our struggles, in the midst of our doubts, against all odds. Heschel once quipped, “Never once in my life did I ask God for success or wisdom or power or fame. I asked for wonder, and he gave it to me.” May God do the same with us as we journey together in next few weeks through the pages of the Psalms down the path of discovery of a child-like faith.
I invite you to join us at our weekly meeting, Thursday night at 8pm in Mershon Auditorium, as we look to rediscover the awe of God, a child-like faith, and the adventure of a life following Him in our new series entitled, "Like a Child."