Every Thought Captive

August 13, 2009

Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!
Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!

Psalm 144:15

“For several years now my practice has been increasingly filled by teenagers whose problems seem out of proportion to their life circumstances. Like all of us who scramble to provide advantages for our children, I had assumed that involvement, opportunity and money would help safeguard the emotional health of children. Yet my appointment book forced me to consider quite the opposite: some aspects of affluence and parental involvement might be contributing to the unhappiness and fragility of my privileged patients.”

In an article introducing her groundbreaking work, The Price of Privilege, Madeline Levine speaks of how many of her basic assumptions about parenting were challenged. In this article (and more fully in her book), Levine shows a generation of children who have received everything the world has said would produce the perfect life: unlimited resources, unlimited opportunities, and unlimited possibilities. Yet this generation is far from perfect. She continues, “In spite of parental concern and economic advantage, many of my adolescent patients suffer from readily apparent emotional disorders: addictions, anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders and assorted self-destructive behaviors.” Levine exposes the emptiness of the modern myth that enough resources, education, and strategy will lead us to the perfect life.

We buy into that myth as well, don’t we? We buy and read the latest and greatest Christian books that promise to reveal the biblical strategy to better parenting, better money management, better education, and a better marriage. David, in Psalm 144, reveals a different approach.

He prays.

We might be surprised at the simplicity of the things he asks for: mature children, crops that grow, livestock that reproduces. Aren’t children supposed to mature? Aren’t crops supposed to grow, livestock to reproduce? Why is David praying for such simple things?

In the sermon on Sunday, Patrick reminded us that “If prayer is anything, it is everything.” David reveals what we so often forget: that God is the source of all blessings, big and small, miraculous and mundane. We so often divide up our lives: Sunday and the rest of the week; spiritual and physical; ministry and the workplace; prayer and our actions. David is reminding us that there is no divide. The God we pray to in the face of cancer is the God we pray to in the face of balancing a checkbook. The same God we beg to protect our missionaries as they travel and work overseas is the God we need to protect our children as they grow up.

This is hard news. David is showing us that the things we thought we could handle, the things over which we thought we had some measure of control, are actually in God’s hands. Mature children, successful work, a happy home—these things come from God.

But it is good news. Do you see what this means? Everything about you, everything about your life, is important to God. There is no part that is too mundane, too ordinary for God. In fact, God meets us every day in the “sacred ordinary.”

Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!

Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!

About the Author

Photograph of Jeremy Weese

Jeremy Weese


Pacific Crossroads Church

Jeremy Weese was raised in the blistering cold of western New York State, on the shores of Lake Ontario. Having lived through his lifetime quota of snow in just his first eighteen years, he fled the Northeast and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating, Jeremy then decided that he wanted to study some more, so he studied five more years, this time at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis; served one year as a Pastoral Intern for Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas, TX. Jeremy is excited that his journeys have led him to Los Angeles. In the coup of the century, Jeremy wooed, won, and married Esther this past year. Favorite thing to do in LA: Take a book to the beach and then not read it. He also enjoys going downhill.