Monday, July 27, 2009

Emotion. Psalms.

This post is going to be a short one... because the thing that's weighing most heavily on me tonight, the thing that I truly need to write out, may or may not be something that I share here. But, for those who may be following along in the Psalms with me...

Jump ahead to Psalm 18. I'm going to pick it up in the middle, share a few verses, and wrap it up. Meanwhile, if you would, take a minute to head over to Jennifer's blog. Her sweet son, Stellan, is struggling. Fighting for his very life. Please, take a little time out of your day to pray for him, for his parents (Jennifer and Israel), and for his doctors as they prepare for a very risky procedure.

Verses 1-3
I love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress and my Deliverer;
My God is my Rock in Whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation - my stronghold.
I call to the Lord, Who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.

My life has not been what I would call easy. Blessed, for sure. Good, mostly. Amazing, thrilling, exhilarating? At times. But not easy. And yet, through everything... He has been there. In the darkness, in the sadness, in the hurt, He comforted. In the joy, the peace, the beauty, He showed Himself. He truly is my rock and my Deliverer. It is He who has delivered me, and it is He in whom I take refuge.

Verses 4-6
The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From His temple He heard my voice;
my cry came before Him, into His ears.

I'm not going to expound on verses four and five. They speak for themselves, and there isn't anything that I would like to say, other than "I get that."

It's verse six I want to talk about. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. That is the only thing I could do. There wasn't strength for anything else. No earthly way forward. Men (or women) could not help. The battle was not physical, not a flesh-and-blood thing. It was (and is, and will be for the rest of my earthly life) spiritual.

It's hard, truthfully, to cry out to God when it feels like I'm failing. When that insistent little voice whispers "You did this and you never do that. Surely, God can't accept you anymore. You've gone too far, done it one too many times now." When that happens, shame rushes in and confidence is harder to grasp than the wind. It is at that time that I truly feel unworthy. And it at that time that doubt raises its ugly head, blocking my view. And it is hard, so hard, to cry out to God. And yet, it is then that I most desperately need to do just that. And it is then, when I am totally and utterly dependent on His grace, on His mercy, on the sacrifice He made and the sinless life He lived, that He has shown Himself faithful.

He has heard my cry. Not just heard... but really heard. It's not like when a bird outside serenades. When that happens, we hear the song, but we don't really hear it. Am I making sense? God hears us. Not just perceives that we are making noise, but really hears what we say.

Verses 7-18
The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because He was angry.
Smoke rose from His nostrils;
consuming fire came from His mouth,
burning coals blasted out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under His feet.
He mounted the cherubim and flew;
He soared on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness His covering, His canopy around Him -
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
Out of the brightness of His presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
He shot His arrows and scattered the enemies,
great bolts of lightning and routed them.
The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at Your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of breath from Your nostrils.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
He drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.

This is one of my favorite passages, because of the picture it paints. I don't know about you, but my mind works in pictures. I see the wind, the dark and swirling clouds, the lightning and parting waters. I have stood, arms thrown open wide, as a storm rushed in. I've felt every hair stand at attention in wonder.

And yet... this passage, pales in comparison to the work He has done inside of each person who allows it. It pales in comparison to what He has done in me. For me. I'm not going to draw any more parallels, not going to expound on that thought any further.

I'm ending here, with this statement. This passage, these words recorded for all eternity, bring to mind a few emotions. Awe. Wonder. A sense of being loved. But more than any of that, they bring gratitude. I am so unspeakably grateful for what He has done and Who He is. And for tonight, that is where I am going to close.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: