I’m continuing to realise again and again that the one thing I really crave is recognition in this life. I want recognition for the stuff I do for church, I want someone to validate my writing and tell me I’m great, I want a title, I want people to know that I have done something. I get anxious when this doesn’t happen, I think my life has stopped being meaningful or helpful because no-one has told me that I’ve made a difference, said something useful or specifically pointed out how much they like having me around. I get worrried when I disagree with people, what if they don’t like me? I crave the adoration of those around me way too much. I can tell this because when I don’t get it my insecurities threaten to engulf me in a tide of dark thoughts about how useless I am and how no-one will like me.
The start of this Psalm kicks me in the teeth everytime I read it. One of my friends sent me this at the start of my Relay year 12 years ago, it kicked me in the teeth then and it’s still doing it’s work. “Not to us Lord, not to us, but to you be the glory because of your love and faithfulness”. Ouch, flipping ouch. I would dearly love to be a person like one of my old mentors who used to say how much she didn’t understand the recognition people gave her in the church for being amazing (clearly not her words), she seemed to genuinely be confused and a little shy about the praise lavished on her. I remember attempting to work out what that must feel like. I wanted the praise and the glory and I still do.
This Psalm thankfully points us to the God who is bigger than us and really does deserve the praise and the glory. My approval rating pales into insignificance in comparison with a God who is full of love and faithfulness and who is, well, real. He’s the God of heaven and earth who does what he likes and he’s better than all the stuff of this world we cling to to give us worth, value, significance and meaning. The idols mentioned in vs 2-8 are ones that can’t see, touch, taste, feel, they are rubbish in their delivery of what we expect from them. Yet we go around thinking these things can provide us with love and can comfort us through the night. My iphone can’t do that, my popularity can’t do that, my pretty life can’t do that. There is someone who can do that though.
We are called to raise our eyes from ourselves and the stuff we scatter around us or crave more than anything. We are called to put hope and trust in the LORD, the one who remembers us, who can do whatever he likes, who has power to work in our lives and who is above all, real. Friends come and go, money comes and goes, popularity and approval come and go, power and comfort come and go, there is Someone else worth living for and worth putting our trust in. Someone who remembers our names and who is full of love and faithfulness. When I look at him, somehow the craving for adoration and approval diminishes in the face of the weight, joy, delight and wonder of the best love in the world poured all over me, suddenly people’s praise clings to me less and I can stand again free to love.
Where do you want the praise and glory in this life?
Why is it better to seek Gods? No really, why?