Psalm 73:21–23 (NRSV): 21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, 22 I was stupid and ignorant; I was like a brute beast toward you. 23 Nevertheless I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
The psalmist describes himself as both heartbroken (“pricked in heart”) and rebellious (“a brute beast”). Most of us have experienced disappointment. Loss. Betrayal. I know what it is to be hurt deeply and think to myself, “screw it”. I know the temptation to throw off boundaries and limits and good sense. Go on a bender. Act out in destructive ways. And sometimes I’ve gone beyond temptation to action. Not good. Maybe you know what that’s like. Then the psalmist reminds us of the nature of God.
“Nevertheless I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.”
Even in my rebellion the Lord doesn’t forsake me, turn his back on me, leave me to suffer in my sin. Instead he holds on to me, loves me, forgives me, restores me to fellowship by his grace. That doesn’t mean I don’t have to suffer consequences, but in the midst of my consequences I never have to doubt my identity as a child of God. Lord thank you for your abounding grace. Amen.