By Pastor Paula Burchill
Spending the summer preaching the psalms has been a gift. It has given words to laments and praise and hard questions and lots of things that have been on my heart and the hearts of a lot of us.
Each time I study a psalm, I’m kind of amazed at the way the author bares his/her soul before God. Nothing is held back. Anger, frustration, awe, joy, love—all come pouring out. And it has been a good reminder that God wants to know me. God wants me to share what is on my heart. And the gift of the psalms is to help me learn to talk to God about anything.
What I’m finding holds the psalms together, is trust. No matter how bad things are, at the end, an expression of trust in God is always given. It got me thinking about how important trust is in our walk with God.
It is hard to be trusting. In fact, it almost seems like we are stupid if we put our trust too readily in things like our leaders or a certain product we might buy. People and things disappoint us all the time. So how does one learn to live in trust?
A small and maybe kind of silly thing comes to mind. Summer is always a challenge for me, because it seems like almost as soon as it starts, I start to worry about there not being enough time and it being too short and not getting to do all the things I want to do in the summer.
I have written about this before. Even before summer began this year, I was panicking and a bit angry. School didn’t get out until June 22. It seems like our summer gets shorter with the kids every year. I call it summer scarcity—the feeling that there just isn’t enough summer. I don’t trust that I will be able to really be able to enjoy the summer because I’m filled with worry.
It helped this year to know my tendency before summer started. It helped me to take a deep breath and stop.
Summer has become an exercise in faith and trust. Because I think that one way to think about and to practice trust is to work on focusing on today. God has forgiven the past. It is over and done. There is no possible way the past could have been any different than it was. You don’t know what the future holds. Sure, there are things to prepare for, but honestly, you have to put a lot of trust in the fact that God will be there for you.
But what you can control is today. Today you can love your neighbor. Today you can sit on your deck and look at the bees buzzing around the lavender. Today you can stop and enjoy a cold glass of water.
So often in my life, summer has seemed to be over before it even starts because I spend so much time worrying about how quickly it is passing me by. But this summer it’s different, because I’m different. I’m working on trust. And it helps me trust that when the bigger problems come, I will be able to take a breath, stop and trust that God will get me through that as well. There will likely be a lot of laments and complaints first, but in the end, it is in God I trust.