I admit that I am a chronic responder to the question “How are you feeling?” with the reply: “I am just fine.” (And 99.9% of the time I am telling the truth…as in “I am just fine” meaning I am not dead and still breathing in oxygen and letting out nitrogen.)
“How are you feeling?” is probably one of the most subjective questions we are asked, practically on a daily basis. The answer depends on our ability to re-frame the question as a comparison to something else going on in our lives. We think of situations that could be better…but also situations that could be worse…and, then, decide after weighing the two options…”We are just fine.”
Once again Quinn Caldwell weighs in on all our “fine-ness” in this daily devotional.
“Lord, listen to me and answer me. I am poor and helpless….You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.” – Psalm 86
Psalm 86 is the kind of prayer usually reserved for when things go really bad. A prayer for when it has all fallen apart and you’re at the end of your rope. If that’s where you are today, then pray it, hard.
But it’s also the perfect prayer to pray when things are going just fine, a prayer for those who have enough money, health, and power to get them through the day. Praying it when you’re feeling broke down and no ‘count is a no-brainer. Prayed when you’re flush and feeling good, it takes on a different cast. Then, it becomes something like a call to humility, a reminder that all you have is nothing without God.
Only the dead are invulnerable. When all is well in your world, Psalm 86 becomes a proclamation of this fact, an acknowledgement that all life is precarious. It is an affirmation that, ultimately, all your hope lies in God.
So, to you who are in a good place, who are having a pretty good day: praise God and congratulations. The world could use a few more of those. Enjoy it. Enjoy it, and pray this prayer to remind yourself that even if things weren’t going so well, still you would have the only thing that will finally matter: the love of the God who made you. It’s a belief worth cultivating.
A prayer of David.
1 Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.
5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.
14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and graciousGod,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
So until tomorrow: Remind me, Father, to keep an open conversation going between us….in the good times and the bad.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh