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Psalm 66:8-12

Wednesday, January 10

Tested

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Today God's people celebrate a God who, though they were tested, brought the people up out of their burdens and delivered them to a "spacious place." Probably a quiet, peaceful place that was quite different from the fire, water, and turmoil they had endured.

Now, I have to go off text just a little today. The psalm says, "For you, O God, have tested us." It goes against every fiber of my being to accept a God that tests people. A God that puts people through hell so they can learn something is just mean. Can you imagine a parent putting their kid through hell just to teach them a lesson? In my world, that's a form of child abuse.

So here's what I think it means. People are tested. But not by God. People are tested because we live in a rough, raw world. People endure suffering because people are flawed. And because this world isn't yet perfect like God intends for it to be someday. And suffering sucks. But it's not God's fault. 

Where's God, then? Right there suffering with us. Enduring with us. Walking with us every step until we arrive in the spacious places, and then continues to walk with us. I also think God provides messages along the way so our journey isn't isolated, and tools so we can navigate those tough roads a little bit better. And we do learn from those struggles. We learn how best to handle them. We learn who we can count on. We learn who can count on us. We learn just what kind of person we want to be.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Psalm 66:8-12

Bless our God, O peoples,
   let the sound of his praise be heard, 
who has kept us among the living,
   and has not let our feet slip. 
For you, O God, have tested us;
   you have tried us as silver is tried. 
You brought us into the net;
   you laid burdens on our backs; 
you let people ride over our heads;
   we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a spacious place. 

Earlier Event: January 9
Psalm 66:6-7
Later Event: January 11
Psalm 66:13-15