A little while ago, my two year old son and I were watching a cartoon called Word World. In this particular episode, Duck and Bug were bringing Monkey a banana for his birthday present. (Obviously we are talking about a very sophisticated TV show which appeals only to the high minded.)
At one point in the cartoon, Duck and Bug decided to do a little song and dance to celebrate their arrival to the jungle, but in order to do the dance they had to put the present containing the banana down first.
Now, my son really likes bananas and he was so excited about the present Duck and Bug were bringing to Monkey. So it absolutely crushed him when during the song and dance, a long jungle vine came out of nowhere and snatched the gift wrapped banana away and took it out of the picture entirely.
When my son saw this he began to wail and moan. Giant pathetic tears were rolling down his cheeks pooling up on his chin. If we had them available in the house I’m sure he would have donned sackcloth and ashes.
The banana was gone. In his mind, it unfairly stolen away. No matter how much I reasoned with him, no matter how much I told him that the banana was going to be found because this type of show never ends in tragedy, he would not be consoled.
He just couldn’t believe what I was telling him; he couldn’t believe my words of comfort and promise would come to fruition.
If I’m honest with myself, I find that I am not far off from where my son was. I find that I am often unsure about God’s active engagement with the world. I often have questions about whether or not God is good, just like my son questioned whether or not the banana would return.
It’s times like this when the language of the Psalms prove helpful. In the psalms, the psalmists’ often question God’s goodness and provision while at the same time offer confessions of faith. It’s honest language that I have to believe God appreciates.
Read Psalm 74 and notice how in one psalm, the psalmist brazenly pleads with God to keep his promises while also confessing God as creator and as the one in control.
May God be patient with our laments and questions and may God grant us the faith to wait upon and trust in his goodness.