Thursday, May 21, 2015

In the Deep Sleep of Presence

Psalm 4 has its heart the process of sleep. To sleep in peace, to ponder God in sleep and being with God even as we sleep. The psalm streams a waterfall of words on the being with the Lord and how the Lord hears our prayers. Hears our prayer. Having the ear of the Master of the Universe arises in me as a privilege. Rather than sitting on God’s lap with a laundry list of my wishes and desires and having the good elves shoo me away for the next kid, I find sitting and listening at the feet of the Master more than enough. Yes, he will wipe and wash the dirt from my worn feet, but hearing him in my dreams, brings me peace.

Money forms the crooked backbone of our world, and we all suffer from the temptation to conflate money, its power and prestige, with Gods. I remember working on a national prayer hotline how every shift I had a gentleman call asking to win the lotto as if powerball would solve the hole in his heart. Before we laugh at him, I have heard similar ideas about wanting to follow Jesus to go to heaven. If we follow Jesus to save our skin in the afterlife, are we really suffering from chasing our egos and fail to find the presence of the Lord. Are we chasing vain world, when the Word that came to dwell with us in the flesh stands ready to be with us. When I listen to God in my sleep, in my prayers I discover the same gladness and joy spoken about in Psalm 4.

Yes, we are promised heaven, and yet, I discovered heaven begins in the presence of the Lord. When I sit and listen to the Lord, peace finds me and I am save within his presence. God has come to be with us and the Master of Universe empties himself to the point of listen to a small man in Spokane Valley. God listens to me about the fears I have about my son and his upcoming surgery. Jesus listens as a brother bring the turkey for Thanksgiving when I share about being overwhelmed by my little Tito losing his eye.

God the Father speaks to me in my distress and beings the calming water of living voice whose baritone vibrato can shake the foundations of my fears. The Holy Spirit’s hand takes my shoulder and guides me to where i need to go and helps me as I lift my son in the coming weeks, months and years. I am so very grateful for God’s hearing my prayers. Answering comes from the hearing and in the act of conversation with God in everything, I find the Gospel.

Psalm 4

Answer me when I call, O God of my right!
    You gave me room when I was in distress.
    Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.
How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame?
    How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies?Selah
But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.
When you are disturbed,[a] do not sin;
    ponder it on your beds, and be silent.Selah
Offer right sacrifices,
    and put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say, “O that we might see some good!
    Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!”
You have put gladness in my heart
    more than when their grain and wine abound.
I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

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