We welcome Courtney Dunn, one of alumni summer staffers, as a regular First Light writer!
Prayer: Dear God, you have provided me with help and comfort in my times of need. When my suffering was great, and I became impatient or angry with you, you reminded me of your greatness. I thank you for your blessings and the many blessings to come. Amen.
Reading: Psalm 77: 1-2,11-20 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: The first time that I wrote a love letter in junior high was the first time I learned that prayers require patience. With eyes closed tight and palms practically glued together, I prayed night after night for the boy in my class to like me as much as I liked him. After about a week of this, I became frustrated. Then I became angry. How could God let my prayers go unanswered for so long? I did not have the patience to wait—this was the boy of my dreams we were talking about!
My dream boy finally did circle “Yes” and became my first boyfriend. He also became my first ex-boyfriend, and with more patience, God gave me the courage to get through my first break-up (and allow this boy and myself to remain close friends, even to this day). The big lesson for me was that prayers require patience. The Lord’s work takes time! Since then, I’ve looked to God for help many times in my life for many different reasons—some small like childhood love letters and some big like the passing of loved ones. It’s easy to become impatient for the suffering to end and frustrated when God’s answer seems delayed, but by remembering the good things that God has already given us, we can be patient in our prayers.
Psalm 77 is a great reminder that patience leads to praise. If we remember what the Lord has already done for us in the past, and the promises that he has for the future, we can be patient knowing that he will provide for us in our times of need. As the psalmist wrote, “Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?” When we begin to feel impatient in our prayers, we must remember that our God is great. Our God is holy. Instead of being impatient we must praise him because what the Lord has already done assures us of what he can do, and this is the greatest comfort of all. --Courtney Dunn
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