The Psalms are the Bible's book of prayers. The Psalms teach us that God listens and we need to learn listening. And the Psalms ask us to be brutally honest with God.
These are three things I have learned recently about the Psalms, the Psalms of David particularly.
Blessed rest and sweet sleep are connected to not sinning in our anger, open-hearted hurt process, living 'honest to God', and being in union with God, no matter what.
Psalm 4 has some advice about silence and anger. When we are angry, we want to vent it out and a common way of venting is with words.
First of all, anger is not taboo. We are allowed to be angry. But be angry and do not sin.
Things like being abusive or destructive, being vengeful or vituperative, and just punishing others because you are angry, is wrong. Anger is a secondary emotion. We get angry when we suffer a loss.
Beneath the anger is hurt and sadness that needs expression and processing: grief. The ungrieved losses that give rise to anger become bitterness. The anger at your loss is understandable, but you must take the time to feel the pain and suffer your loss, feeling it and grieving it; in order to heal and not add sin to your loss.
The person who does not do this instead takes on the role of being forever angry. That becomes their identity. Instead of being for something, whether it is that they want to make something better, in a role or a job, they instead are the angry person, that is against something.
We constantly have reason to be and opportunities to become angry, because we constantly face losses and infractions upon our will or plans. But, we must learn how to have healthy angry, to be angry but not to sin.
For nice, Christian people, this might be hard. The nice, Christian person's 'anger problem' is not yelling or rage, but sadness and passivity. The hurts of life that give rise to anger are suppressed into an inner sadness.
Silence is really what I want to share about. It is a discipline of your self, to remain silent. God is listening, but am I listening?
Go ahead and be angry, but also reflect on your loss and let it go. In the silence, let the hurt that is beneath the anger, come up and out.
What I see is a discipline of taking your hurt self, your self who has suffered a loss or injustice, to God. And the deepest and most profound and mature thing you can do is to take your self to the cross. Bring yourself to Christ to be crucified with him (Galatians 2:20).
That thing you lost or you do not have that you want. What was taken from you or that you think is yours that you do not yet possess. You hurt about that and want God to give it to you.
You want breakthrough or breakout. But, what God wants to give you right now is break-in. God wants you and Him to be together right now in whatever space or place you are in. That thing or situation you desire and hurt over so much that you've got all this anger about not having it. And some of it even gets directed at God.
But you know God is good and God loves you and is a good Father. So, you feel confused and you go back and forth, blaming yourself and consider blaming others who have blocked you or held you back. And this whole thing you are in has affected your sleep.
Your worries and thoughts are keeping you up at night. You sleep, but you don't sleep well and you don't wake up refreshed.
God wants to be with you where you are at right now. Jesus wants to have table fellowship with you and communion (Revelation 3:20).
I have learned recently that the Psalms of David teach us that God listens and we need to listen better. I have also learned that the one thing God wants, that God requires of me, it to be honest with Him, brutally honest.
And that is what Psalm 4:4 is about: being honest to God. Sit on your bed or couch and be silent. Let God speak and let the words of your heart well up, in silence and find their way into communion with God.
Go for the highest aim, the highest road; which is union with God. And then let everything else in your life fall into place. God is listening, so speak honestly; from a cultivation of your own listening to the inner regions of your heart.
Have no thing, no thought, no obstacle of resentment, disappointment, fear, judgement or hopelessness that would block your union with God, your papa. Come as you are and sit in his lap. Laugh, cry, snug and hug; be loved and let your destiny as his child be formed in you.
Sleep in heavenly peace.