We like the greatest hits:
Psalm 23 (the Lord is my shepherd…),
Psalm 51 (Create in me a clean heart…),
Psalm 121 (I lift my eyes up unto the mountains…)
They are poetic, uplifting, relevant, and honest. That’s the profound truth about all of the psalms, they are honest. I’m convinced that the greatest gift of the psalms is not the chart topping hits but rather the power of an honest heart before God. This naked and vulnerable heart is revealed throughout the psalms.
Joy? “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.” – Psalm 95
Awe? “Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.” – Psalm 89
Sadness? “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” – Psalm 10
Gratitude “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” – Psalm 136
Anger? “Let my accusers days be few; Let his children wander about and beg; let strangers plunder the product of his labor. Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him, nor any to be gracious to his fatherless children.” – Psalm 109
Yikes. Sounds like a rough day. Yet that’s the point. We all have rough days. Now maybe you’ve never wished that someone’s children should be left to wander about and beg but maybe you’ve had less than charitable hopes for someone who has wounded you or the ones you love.
What do we do with those emotions and thoughts?
The psalmist shows us; give it to God in prayer. Do with it that which you would do with every other room and corner of your heart. Give it God. You don’t have to polish with holy language. You don’t have to dress it up with how you should feel. You give it God as is, as you are. Don’t cram down those less than sparkling thoughts. Give them to God in prayer, in fullness and in truth. Be honest to God for in so doing you will be honest with yourself.
There’s no reason to pretend with God. God knows you, loves you, and never ceases to redeem you.