November 25

Psalm 80:1-7, 15-17

“O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers? You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.” vss. 4-5

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and because family gatherings have been shown to be “superspreaders” in the COVID pandemic, many are choosing to forego traditional celebratory dinners with friends and relatives. For them it’s one more negative effect of these last nine months of quarantine, a kind of a crowning blow. They’ll be feasting on the bread of tears! These have been discouraging times. We’ve been praying for an end to the suffering and the dying, for a return to the happy days of a burgeoning economy and freedom to travel. It was at moments like these that the psalmist wondered aloud to God, “How long will you be angry?” Now we may know intellectually that unanswered prayers are not a sign of God’s anger, but often it feels that way. And when that happens it’s good to be reminded that God does not desert us in our times of need. God is as present among us now as in the best of times–that’s what God does. In fact, if we’ll take time for some serious and honest reflection tomorrow, it won’t be our personal holiday pity party! In fact, moments of deprivation are golden opportunities for us to take stock of that which really matters. On these days all the foofoo is stripped away, and true blessings are revealed.

Thought for the Day: What blessings do I see most clearly when prayers are not answered?

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