Read: Psalm 4 (aligned with Year B Easter 3)
When I call, give me answers. God, take my side!
Once, in a tight place, you gave me room;
Now I’m in trouble again: grace me! hear me!
2 You rabble—how long do I put up with your scorn?
How long will you lust after lies?
How long will you live crazed by illusion?
3 Look at this: look
Who got picked by God!
He listens the split second I call to him.
4-5 Complain if you must, but don’t lash out.
Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.
Build your case before God and wait for his verdict.
6-7 Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say.
I have God’s more-than-enough,
More joy in one ordinary day
7-8 Than they get in all their shopping sprees.
At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together.
This Psalm feels like and invitation to sit, be still, and be aware of what we have. When faced with lack, we are drawn to wanting more – but this psalm takes my mind to Luke’s recording of Jesus’s sermon about Blessings and Woes. Jesus says “Blessed are the hungry, for they will be full, blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted… but woe (great sadness) to those who are rich and comfortable and whose bellies are full, because they’ve received everything already.
That little snippet of Luke, and this Psalm both remind us to find comfort in the present, even in the lack, rather than fixing our eyes on “More! More!” – when we stop asking for more and pay attention to the now, we notice that God is making space for us, in our tight spot, and God is providing us with joy, in the middle of the ordinariness of normal life.
Set aside 5 minutes – give yourself some space to really be still. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor and that your body is in a comfortable, neutral position. Rest your hands loosely on your lap.
Bring your attention to your breathing – slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, releasing the tension in your jaw as your exhale.
Pay attention to the way your body feels as you sit. Roll your shoulders up and back and then return to neutral – feel the tension and its release. Pay attention to if your hands are clenched – give your fingers a little flex, and do the same for your toes.
As you pay attention to the way your body feels in this space, allow yourself to be present to the ways that you might be feeling lack, and the drive for more. How is that showing up for you? Are you actually exhausted because you have too much on your plate, because you don’t want to say no and miss out? Are you exhausted because you lack support and you’re doing everything alone?
Is your body reminding you that punishing it – starving yourself of nourishment, or self-medicating with food or other substances – doesn’t resolve the sense of lack or the drive for more?
These are uncomfortable things to sit with. This Psalm reminds us that even though its uncomfortable to sit with our lack, and its confronting to look directly at our desire for More!More!, God is more-than-enough – God is more than able to sit with you in your discomfort. God is more than able to hear your heart.
Spend just a moment allowing your heart to have a chat with God about these real things. Allow God to love you.
As we minister to children and families, how do we sit with this discomfort of lack and hunger for “more”? Perhaps in church sometimes, we focus on encouraging people to want more – more community, more worship, more Jesus! That’s not bad, but how can we make space for our community to be uncomfortable?