Devotions for Advent: December 5, 2014

Psalm 85:1-7

The anguish of a broken relationship is particularly gutwrenching. Whether it’s the disappointment of unmet expectations, the hurt of betrayal or an unexpected breakup, our hearts take a beating.

Amidst the pain, though, there is often an underlying wish that forgiveness and reconciliation will take place. Sometimes—with a lot of hard work and trust—those things do happen. Sometimes, when one person wants to work it out, but the other doesn’t, they don’t. And sometimes—as in situations of abuse and violence— maybe they shouldn’t even be attempted, at least not without professional help. Whatever the situation, one thing seems certain: We have to face the hurt before we can begin to heal.

The psalmist speaks of this sad reality with longing. The love God once showed has seemingly disappeared. The close bond the people felt has slipped away. The psalmist’s cries are our cries: “How long?” “Will you be angry forever?” “Will you not come back?” The words are plaintive: “Please, can I have another chance?”

Lord, I ask forgiveness for the times when I have hurt another. Guide me with your mercy and compassion when I strive to make things right. Amen.

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