119 Tsadhe

This morning I had a beautiful cup of steaming coffee wafting with aroma towards my blessed olfactories.  I was almost drooling with delight in anticipation of my first taste of this morning’s sacred bean-water.  I reached for the cup, but didn’t think about grabbing it well- only about grabbing it.  I put my fingers around the little plastic lid and lifted rather forcefully, growing impatient to try the joe.  Of course, the lid popped off while the cup was five inches in the air.  The extra hot breakfast blend took advantage of the opportunity of freedom and proceeded to burst out of the fallen cup… all over the floor… of my car.

I feel like a real loser.  My heart sank.  I was in distress.  I was angry at the cup.  I was angry at the lid-manufacturing company.  I was especially angry with my beloved coffee for betraying me.  Then I grew angry with myself for being such a dolt.  Obviously, I was a little grumpy this morning.

So I opened up my Bible to Psalm 119:137-144, the letter Tsadhe, the 18th section of this rich passage of Scripture.  Weary, weak, and wasted in my soul, I asked God to help me get over my loser-grumpiness… and started to read these words:

137   O Lord, you are righteous,
        and your decisions are fair.
138    Your decrees are perfect;
       they are entirely worthy of our trust
139    I am overwhelmed with rage,
        for my enemies have disregarded your words
140    Your promises have been thoroughly tested;
        that is why I love them so much.
141    I am insignificant and despised,
        but I don’t forget your commandments.
142    Your justice is eternal,
        and your law is perfectly true.
143    As pressure and stress bear down on me,
        I find joy in your commands.
144    Your decrees are always fair;
        help me to understand them, that I may live.

The writer of this psalm felt like a loser in the world sometimes.  Things didn’t always go the way they should go.  I’m sure he spilled his coffee every now and then too.  Even more, he had enemies who made life difficult and that made him angry.  Pressure and stress afflicted him… just like us today.  And yet, his anger was based on zeal for God’s word.  And his pressure and stress were opportunities to exercise joy in God’s commands.  As unfair as life is, the writer of this psalm knows that God’s way is righteous and fair.  So he prays, as I do today, that God won’t let me forget his words… and that God will help me understand them.  If God works in my heart like that today, then I’ll be able to truly live.

Even without my coffee.

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