Well worth your time and a slow read: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson. He takes the psalms of ascents and puts them into everyday practical language to discuss discipleship for the believer. From Psalm 130, some thoughts:

“To be human is to be in trouble.”

Psalm 130 is an outcry because the bottom has fallen out. But here is the determination for Peterson:

“A Christian is a person who decides to face and live through suffering.”

We can know the bottom has fallen out. But we can also know the cry of our hearts can reach God and he is the One with us in the storm.

“The gospel offers a different view of suffering (than this world): in suffering we enter the depths; we are at the heart of things; we are near to where Christ was on the cross…”

We are to respond to suffering as reality, not trying to deny it as an illusion.

This is not a call to embrace suffering, either. It’s not to dwell in the fatalism. It is to immerse the suffering in God. It is the opportunity for prayer. Even in suffering, it is the opportunity to draw close to God. We can very well find his presence in a sweeter way.

Take a slow walk through this book. We can learn a depth of discipleship needed in our fractured world. And it doesn’t happen overnight.


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