121 I have done what is right and fair.
So don’t leave me to those who treat me badly.
122 Make sure that everything goes well with me.
Don’t let proud people treat me badly.
123 My eyes grow tired as I look to you to save me.
Please save me as you have promised.
124 Be good to me, because you love me.
Teach me your orders. [New International Reader’s Version]
If you’ve been following my journey this Lent and if you read through the four verses above, you probably already have an idea about what I might say about them. But today, you’d be wrong. Yep, it starts out the same, “I’ve been good God, now time for you to treat me right.” But there is something here with which I deeply resonate. Specifically, I hear and feel the frustration associated with that often goes with the phrase, “no good deed goes unpunished.”
I am finding myself increasingly disheartened when I find that the passion I pour into an endeavor is not only not appreciated, but despised(?) by others. It is very hard to keep putting yourself into projects when you know that your work will be repaid with grief. Now please do not misunderstand. I am not a masochist. I do find a degree of reward in my work with the scouts and with church—and those little rewards of seeing life spark in another’s eyes are ultimately what tips the tally sheet toward my continuing on in these aspects of my life. But it feels like these good moments (as great as they are) are becoming less frequent and the kicks in the groin (or sometimes worse, the indifference) are becoming more frequent.
I truly get the first three verses…
In the fourth verse, I finally see a ray of hope that I haven’t truly seen in the psalm up until now. The psalmists appeal that God be good to him is no longer based on what he has done to warrant God’s favor. The psalmist recognizes that the source of God’s grace is, in fact, God’s love. And in that vein, asks God to give him (new?) direction.
The question of my life’s direction has been with me a lot lately. Am I clinging on to dying elements simply out of fear of losing them, or am I responding to a calling to help rescue them. I need direction. I need to feel God’s love in the form of guidance.