I just finished a 3 month sabbatical! I went into it on a journey towards emotional health. It started about five years ago, when I was introduced to the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. It’s been a slow journey. I’ve re-read EHS a few times and referred back to chapters another half dozen. It’s been useful in helping me navigate relationships, but also propelled me on a journey of inner healing.
As I write this I’ve never seen our country more disunified than it is right now. Racial tension is at an all-time high for my lifetime (I realize others who lived through the 60’s have seen more). And let’s not even mention political tension. The proverbial lines in the sand are being drawn on both sides of most major issues. Hatred is overshadowing love. And even some of those who preach tolerance have let the pendulum swing to the other side.
Of course, any historian will tell you this is nothing new. In fact, compared to the time of conquering empires, such as Alexander the Great, it’s quite peaceful. However, at least in my lifetime, I’ve never observed such hatred from those on both sides of the issues.
Not much in life is guaranteed, but the Bible is clear that tough times will come our way. Job loss. A family member passes away. Our kids struggle in life. Our car breaks down. We don’t get the promotion. Our other car breaks down. Divorce. Sometimes our lives can feel like the proverbial country song.
There is not one of us who haven’t, at some level, gone through difficult seasons. No doubt some are more difficult than others, but nonetheless we all go through these seasons.
Psalm 136 is a passage I’ve read many times before. You probably have too. I have to admit, most times I read it I skip the lines that say His faithful love endures forever so that I can read it faster.
I recently read this passage again but read every line. This time the tediousness of the repeated line caused me to wonder why the writer would write His faithful love endures forever over and over again. As I pondered that question it struck me that many of the lines in this Psalm are reminders of what God had done for the Israelites. He brought Israel out of Egypt. He acted with a strong hand and powerful arm. Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. He led Israel safely through, but he hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea.