Have you ever wanted to say something so badly, but you just knew that you shouldn’t? Maybe it was a joke that you knew would have the crowd in stitches, but it might offend the wrong person in the room. Maybe it was a snappy comeback that would clinch an argument, but might also sever a friendship. Or maybe it was just an honest assessment of your feelings, but you worried that sharing your feelings out loud could also change the course of an important relationship.
Early in Dena’s and my dating relationship, we were walking on one of our favorite beaches in Michigan. We were only a few weeks into dating, but I knew already that I liked her enough that I didn’t want her to be disappointed when she discovered who I really was. You see, I knew something about myself that I wasn’t sure I was ready to share with her, but I knew that if we were going to be more than friends, she deserved to know. So I mustered up my courage and spit it out as fast as I could:
Yep. I said it just like that. All in one word. I may have thrown in a few more syllables about how it was something I knew about myself and was working on.
But what has stuck with me to this day was the way that Dena reacted. She didn’t recoil in horror or leave me alone on that beach. Instead, she paused. She thought about it for a moment and then said, “OK.” Not only did this new bit of information not destroy our budding relationship, but it gave us a frame of reference —an anchor point in our relationship to return to as we figured out how to do life together.
I think sometimes we are afraid to bring parts of our life to God for all sorts of reasons. Maybe we are afraid something in our life is not important enough—or holy enough—to request an audience with the Almighty. Or maybe it feels like acknowledging a problem in our life or character flaw might damage our relationship.
If you have ever felt that way, then this series is for you. We’re looking at the Psalms, a collection of poems and songs that record some surprising conversations between a king of Israel and his God. I hope we will be encouraged, and maybe relieved, as we recognize some of our own emotions captured in the stories in this book. More than anything, my hope is that this series gives us permission to say some things we’ve been wanting to talk with God about for a long time.