Time For God: Day 2

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: Psalm 121: 1-2:
I will lift up my eyes to the hills — from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Workplace bullying makes life miserable. It isolates a person from others, oneself, and your sense of God’s nearness. It destroys a person’s self-confidence.

Malcolm [name changed] met me one day for coffee. He began to tell me his story of workplace victimization. He paused abruptly as I saw his tears. I truly felt his pain.

Some years earlier I experienced similar events. Deep distress dogged me over a three-year period. At last, I moved on. I found somewhere I could shine, where God’s gifts in me were acknowledged and received.

During my ordeal, I dreaded going to work. I feared meeting the two senior colleagues who completely undid me. I resisted my daily commute, changing my route to travel a coastal road. Each morning, I pulled into a beach parking lot to pray hard for God’s strength. In pain, I felt utterly alone. Across the water, snow-capped mountains rose above me. Gazing upward, I sought God’s help in this psalm’s words.

Psalms 120-134 are called the Songs of Ascent, or Pilgrim Songs. Worshippers sung them as they ascended the road to Jerusalem for three annual pilgrim festivals. They were told “not [to] appear before the Lord empty-handed (Deuteronomy 16:16).

Sometimes the only gift in your hands is your pain. God invites you to bring even your distress as your personal offering. It is acceptable to Him.

How does God love you even through your pain? Whose pain can you speak into, today? Who is waiting for your note, card, or letter to remind them of God’s love? 
Gracious Heavenly Father, thank you that Jesus bore my pain on Calvary’s cross. Thank you that you ask me to bring my pain to you. Thank you that in you I receive the Holy Spirit’s healing ointment of grace. Amen.

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