Friday, December 05, 2008

Wading in the Mire

My sermon I preached this week in Anna's Preacher & the Poet class.

Psalm 69:1-3; 13-18 Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. 3 I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. 13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me. With your faithful help 14 rescue me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters. 15 Do not let the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the Pit close its mouth over me. 16 Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. 17 Do not hide your face from your servant, for I am in distress-- make haste to answer me. 18 Draw near to me, redeem me, set me free because of my enemies.


Mire. Deep waters. Floods.
Up to your neck, over your head
Eyes weary, parched throat.
Sinking down…
The weight of the world,
pushing on your shoulders;
no relief in sight.

Life is like this sometimes.

There are days, months,
When we find ourselves
where the psalmist is –
confronted by enemies.
Enemies that hurt us –
deeply, leave us wounded
Wounds so painful, so deep
It feels like being overwhelmed
by deep waters,
by quicksand
with nothing to hold onto.

our enemies are not always external…

Sometimes it is the internal ones
that hurt the most.

The voices flooding the mind
with words that cut like glass.
The feeling of not being able
To move forward, to keep going
The pain is deep.
So real.
Wounds so raw,
opened over and over again.

There are days when
We cannot lift ourselves off the floor.
When the pain is too much
The voices too strong.
The feelings too hard to handle.

The world begins to close in
Leaving us scrambling, reaching
For a lifeline
For a hand to pull us out
Of the quicksand
Of the waters

We cry out to God,
Our prayers for help
To save us from this mire
To save us from the deep waters
To save us from ourselves

We cry, so hard it hurts
Our eyes grow weary
Our throats are parched

We cry out to God,
Answer me! Answer me!
I am stuck. I am sinking. I am being swallowed.
Answer me! Answer me,

We cry out to God,
Where are you?
Can you hear me?
Save me! Help me! Redeem me!
Can you hear me?
I need you.
I can’t save myself
I can’t help myself
I can’t redeem myself.
I need you.

The weight of the world might
Be pushing on your shoulders.
Relief is in sight.

in the midst of
The mire that sucks us in
The deep flood waters that overwhelm us
In our tears stained on our faces
In our throats so dry from crying

Is God.

God is there.
It doesn’t always feel like it.

But, God is there.

Abundant mercy,
steadfast love.
God is with us.

Do not give up.
We will cry.

But, our tears will not be in vain.

God is with us,
In our tears,
In the hard times,
When we feel overwhelmed
By the floods of internal wounds.
By the mire all around us.

Even though,
Our eyes may grow dim
waiting for our God.
Keep praying.

God hears our prayers,
Although answers come not
When we want them.

At an acceptable time, O God.
in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me.
What is acceptable?
Only God knows.

So, we keep praying.
We keep reaching.


Keep reaching. Keep crying out to God.
Even when it’s hard.
Even when your eyes are weary
Even when your throat is parched
Even when you think you cannot hold on.
Even when you cannot lift yourself off the floor.

Keep reaching out for God.
God is there.
The psalmist never lost hope.
God’s steadfast love is there
For you. For me. For all of us.

God’s abundant mercy and love
will pull us
out of the mire
out of the deep flood waters
into new life.

Keep reaching. Keep praying.
God is there.