Few things in life are as comfortable as hanging out in a pair of perfectly distressed jeans. They communicate, “Things are chill here–don’t expect too much.” You can’t wear distressed jeans just anywhere; but when you can, you know you’re going somewhere that will offer comfort and acceptance. When you slip on a pair, you’re believing these jeans took a beating…so you wouldn’t have to.
Distressed jeans are one thing, but a distressed life is altogether different.
A reflection from Psalm 4 for when life is distressing…
“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer.”
Tell God about your distress. He will hear you. He is there to give you immediate assistance.
“O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception?”
You probably don’t deserve what is happening to you. God does not love what is worthless–Your honor is valued by Him. You are valued by Him. He will not deceive or be deceived. He knows the truth about you and He cares.
“Selah” Pause. Rest. You will be okay.
“But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for Himself; the LORD hears when I call to Him.”
You belong to the Lord. He will hear His own child cry. He will understand what it is you need and will help you. He will not abandon you.
“Tremble, and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.”
Of course, you’re frustrated, angry, and indignant that this is happening to you. But don’t blame God. Don’t trade your honor to indulge your frustration. Instead, trade in your sword of vengeance for a pillow of peace. Stop fighting.
“Selah.” Pause. Rest. You will be okay.
“Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the LORD.”
Keep doing what is right. Do it as unto the Lord. Trust that His way is right. Take Him at His Word.
“Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?” Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O LORD!”
Some will not see the hand of the Lord in your circumstances. But God is the light that shines into the darkness. He will shine upon you. His Word is a lamp for your feet and light for your path. In Him there is no darkness at all. Remember who God is!
“You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound.”
In the light of the Lord there is joy. Harvest His comfort by remembering His promises to you. Let Him bring a feast of truth to your heart and be glad in it.
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.”
In Christ you are safe. You are at peace. You may pause. You may rest. You can trust that He will ensure that you will be okay.
When life is distressing…and it will be…find comfort in God.