Bread – Wasted

November 3, 2014


Readings for Monday, November 3, 2014, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: *; Rev. 14:1-13; Luke 12:49-59; Psalms 56,57,58,64,65

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In today’s reading from Psalm 56, we read “You have kept count of my tossings, put my tears in Your bottle.” Ps. 56:8

This is the same Psalm which contains the famous words “…in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Ps. 56:11. It is this phrase which often draws attention. However, for some reason today the words about “tossings” and “bottle” just caught my attention.

What is it about tossings and tears? First, they represent how we handle worry and loss. We toss all night, barraged by nightmares, because we do not sleep well. We do not sleep well because we are worried about something – the job, no job, money, the children, old age, lack of opportunity, poor health, fear of failure, fear of life … the list goes on. Loss brings on tears (there are sometimes tears of joy, but today I am speaking about tears of sadness, melancholy, loss, failure, etc.). Grief overwhelms us and tears flow.

We are all familiar with tossings and tears. We have all experienced them and we know others who have experienced them as well.

The second characteristic of tossings and tears is that they are lonely events. Tossings take place while we are in bed. We may sleep next to our wife or husband, but they generally occur in the dead of night and we try to control our tossings so that we will not disturb our spouse’s sleep. We try to leave them out of the picture, whatever that picture is which is causing us to toss and turn, and in the process suffer our tossings alone. Likewise, people can try to comfort us as we cry, but crying is something we do, alone. It does not take two people for me to cry; I can cry on my own just fine, thank you! Tossings and tears are lonely events, or so they would seem.

The third characteristic of tossings and tears is, according to the Psalm, that God pays attention to them. He counts my tossings. Rather than let my tears fall empty to the ground, He puts them into bottles.

Why would God do this? Because He cares and He loves us.

See, we do not toss and turn and cry by ourselves, alone without love and support. We toss and cry in front of God. He notices, He cares, and He preserves. We are not alone because God is with us.

I call this Bread “wasted” because we know intellectually that tossing does not solve problems and that tears do not cause losses to disappear. The problems and losses remain after we have completed as much worrying about them as we can stand. We would therefore think that “tossings” and “tears” are wasted actions.

But they are not wasted. They are so valuable that God counts the tossings and bottles the tears. Both are preserved by God.

Why preserve such things?

I think to demonstrate to us that nothing is wasted which happens to us. No disaster, no loss, no trouble, no injury which befalls us is wasted by God. If we will let Him, God will preserve us through the disaster, loss, trouble, or injury, and He will bring us victorious to our end with Him.

When God is God of our lives, nothing we do is wasted. Ever.

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© 2014 GBF

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