Have you ever felt conflicted? Have you ever felt your mind tearing away from your soul? Calling this hypocrisy is faulty. What some may call hypocrisy is not the definition applied by Christianity. Those who have not experienced God’s grace can look from the outside and proclaim Christianity to be fraudulent when times of doubt, hurt, or slip-ups occur.
But then there are the times when we’ve done everything right but we’re experiencing Job-like moments when our righteousness is not saving us from our test.
The 42nd Psalm illuminates these feelings. It puts into words the emotions that often churn our stomachs and the thoughts that abash our minds. When reading verses 5-8 you can see the conflict between the mind and the soul. The soul is feeling parched…unsatisfied…anemic… but the mind remembers the goodness of God and clings to it.
“Why are you downcast O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon – from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life.”
It does us good to think out loud when encompassed by the turmoil. If anything has been proven true of the Christian life it’s that our emotions cannot be trusted and our logic is at times faulty. What do we cling to when we can’t trust ourselves? We must embrace not our logic…we must entertain not our emotions.
The only option is to adhere to the character of God – only this can be trusted in our moments of insecurity.
We all see things we want. We all have desires that keep us awake at night and influence our actions during the day. I guess in the end the conflicts of soul and mind occur when we place our hope in these things instead of believing in God’s best. At the peak of our faithlessness the Psalmist’s prayer can bring calm beyond measure – “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
I imagine calling God our Savior requires more faith than thought by most….