Here is a translation of a psalm that I like very much:
Even in the midst of great pain, Lord, I praise you for that which is.
I will not refuse this grief or close myself to this anguish.
Let shallow men pray for ease: “Comfort us; shield us from sorrow.”
I pray for whatever you send me, and I ask to receive it as your gift.
You have put a joy in my heart greater than all the world’s riches.
I lie down trusting the darkness, for I know that even now you are here.
— An improvisation on Psalm 4 by Stephen Mitchell.
My good blogging friend Jennie over at no more abuse, left me with this beautiful improvisation by Stephen Mitchell. I went to the Bible and read the actual Psalm and I do think this is a beautiful and wonderful improvisation or interpretation, call it what you will. The Bible is a most wonderful book, but let’s face it, it can be somewhat confusing and parts left open to individual interpretation. That leaves it up to each of us individually to decide if that makes sense or matches our beliefs. This happens to hit mine right on.
I think about what it says. All of my life I have prayed for God’s will to be done in my life. I realize I was one of those shallow people, in that I was actually praying I suppose with conditions imposed. I was praying for God’s will to be done but then expected that would include only things that I saw as “good stuff”. Things that I felt I wanted or needed in my life, according to my will.
Time is so precious, every moment we waste in any sort of negativity is a moment gone forever, one that we will never get back, never have a second chance to relive. So many of those precious moments did I waste, floundering around in my private field of woe. Praying with all of my heart for God to change her/him, change my circumstances what ever.
Why do so many seem to have to wait until they reach the point of nearing the end of their life that they realize the obvious. I say the obvious, but really it only becomes obvious, at least for me, after a lot of prayer, meditation and deep thought. Even when we realize the obvious, it is still so very difficult to accept it into our hearts and really move on with our lives in a healthy and happy way.
What is this thing that is so obvious. We can’t change other people, or even expect them to change to “suit our wishes”. We must look at each individual person and accept them for who they are, good, bad or in between. Just as they must accept us for who we are. By really looking at and seeing an individual for who or what they are. It is then up to each of us to utilize our free will to make our own individual choices about whether or not we want that person as they are to be a part of our lives, or at least to what extent we want them in our lives, or will even allow them in our lives. The ideal, I suppose would be to totally surround ourself with only loving, healthy, nurturing people and relationship. This I think would be an ideal goal or target to aim for in the way we live our lives. Who in the ideal world would we want to eliminate or at least greatly restrict in our lives. Anyone who’s negativity or what ever drain or suck the life force and energy from us. We just don’t need that sort of relationship in our lives.
That takes us to the circumstances in our lives. Not always, but I think it would be fair to say that the vast majority of the time, negative relationships either directly cause or at least greatly contribute to our negative circumstances. So, so often it seems to me, that the only way to improve that circumstance is to change the relationship with the negative forces (people) in our lives. We must live our lives and not the lives we are expected to live by others and visa vera. Nor can we allow the negativity of others to drag us down. Their issues are their own and we don’t have to allow them to inflict their issues on to us. We have enough to deal with in our own lives without accepting negativity or abuse in any form from anyone else. So often it seems we change our circumstances our lives by changing our relationships.
Now this is all according to “Bill”, but I do believe God does answer our prayers each and every one of them. I am not exactly sure how to word this but I do believe God hears more just the words contained within our prayers. He also hears the need contained with in our hearts. His answer may be directed more to the need than our spoken want.
I am not sure if this is a good comparable or not but hey, it works for me and this is my blog so I can write what I want. I believe God loves us all as his children. In my comparable I see our Heavenly Father in what would be comparable to a Parenting role, leading, guiding us to make healthy choices in our lives. Helping us to become the very best we can be. I picture myself as being some what comparable to say a feisty and stubborn 4 year old. It is meal time and I am hungry and I know what it is I want, candy and potato chips. I am making sure everyone knows what it is I want, I WANT CANDY!!!!! But instead before me is place a healthy meal choice. I am upset, I am mad this is not what I want, this is not what I asked for. I’m mad and my stubborn streak comes out. I know what I want and this healthy choice is not it. Never mind that my loving Parent has given me what is truly best and healthiest for me, I know what I want and refuse to eat. Now I am sure in a 4 year old mind that when you are hungry and waiting to eat, minutes can seem like hours. But I am determined, I know what I want and hold out for what I want. After what I am sure would seem like hours and hours of fighting, totally worn out I finally give in and accept the healthy choice the one my loving parent knew was best for me, inspite of what I declared I wanted. The loving parent knew the child was hungry and in need of healthy nourishment. Being a loving parent the child was not given what he asked for but instead what he needed to grow strong and healthy.
Maybe this comparison is overly simplistic or even way off base I don’t know. But, this is how I see our Loving Heavenly Father answering our prayers. He hears our words, but also hears the need in our hearts. He does want what is best for us and will answer our prayer with a healthy option for our true need. He will place it before us, making it available to us. Sadly so often we don’t see what is laid out before us as it is just not in line with what we wanted and were asking for. God has laid before us healthy options, healthy choices. We just have to see them as such and seek nourishment and growth from them. Sometimes those choices have been right in front of us for so long we have almost become oblivious to them and may have even brushed them aside as just not being in line with what we want. It is only when I have finished throwing my child like temper tantrum demanding what I know I want. That I can sometimes look around and really see the other options that have been laid before me, the healthy nourishing options.