Thursday, January 10, 2013

In the Absence of....

Psalms 42

“…As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.” (Vs 1-NLT)

It wasn’t until I lived in Cambodia for a year, that I truly realized my addition for chocolate. As with many luxuries, chocolate is nearly obsolete in third world counties such as Cambodia. Therefore, I thought about every form of chocolate all of the time.  Weekly, I strategized who I could guilt into mailing me just a few morsels across the Pacific. At its worst I wondered things such as, “Maybe I can climb into the jungle, find some cocoa beans, mash them up and make some chocolate.” Clearly, there were points of desperation. In America, I rarely dwell upon chocolate as it is readily available to devour, slurp, dip, submerge, cover, coat and consume at leisure.

Oh the irony of valuing presence in absence. Often in Psalms we read the cries of a man feeling far removed from God. We have all felt that absence of God, and like David we long for spiritual renewal. We anticipate, wait, reflect, and trust knowing nothing else will suffice. The way to forget our trials is to remember the God of our triumphs. Without a doubt, it is in the depths of deficiency where unprecedented appreciation is fostered. There are indeed teachable moments in the midst of feeling absence. Perhaps, the Psalmist himself said it best:

“My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration!” –David, verse 4  

Erin Gripper

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