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Sunday Devotion: 6 June 2021, Second Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday Devotions

Bowing down in the midst of trouble

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Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.

Main Readings: 1 Samuel 8.4-11 (12-15), 16-20, 11.14-15; Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4.13-5.1 (2-5); Mark 3.20-35 [Genesis 3.8-15; Psalm 130]

Supplementary Readings: Psalm 132; 1 Peter 1.10-16; 1 Samuel 12.1-15, 19-25; Psalm 130; Mark 4.1-12

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.” (Psalm 138.7)

Not so long ago, I received a rather angry message from someone I respected. And, in that moment and the weeks that followed, I really struggled to know what to do with it. I was angry, upset, sad and I wanted to fight back, to make this person know the truth! I felt well in the midst of trouble.

For me, the Psalms are a dance of human emotion and thought, unfiltered and raw. I can identify with that because that is the way I experience life. And this psalm is a beautiful example of a dance I need to do with myself when feeling the way I did when I received the message. Earlier in the Psalm it talks about bowing down, worshipping God. And, doing that “in the midst of trouble” is maybe one of the most difficult, but the most important things, I can do.

I know, as I submit and bow down to God, as I re-engage with what Jesus has called me to, seeking to emulate His other-centred love, I start to let the pain sit and be still. Then the pain starts to remove its teeth and I stop having a tantrum about what I think is and isn’t fair. Then I can ask myself, “How do I understand and respond in a way that worships God?”

As I seek to define myself in faithfulness to Jesus, I am reminded in these moments of pain how I am called to respond to and love people.

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