Something has healed in me. As I sat in church this past Sunday morning, it was just one of those times when God broke through and touched something deep inside.
Being as old as I am and having been in the church my entire life, there are some things about being a Christian that I take for granted. I know God is everywhere and is able to do anything. I know Jesus paid an awful cost to seal my redemption. I know there is an eternity beyond this life and though much of that is a mystery, I rest in knowing I will be there and it will be good.
If I'm honest, I also know there is a lot about God that my heart just doesn't fully comprehend, claim, or appropriate. In my mind, Christianity is a package deal, and I'm sold. When I read the words of Scripture, I know every one is trustworthy and true. But somehow there are still truths and promises that I block my soul from fully receiving. Why, I do not know. I have no trouble claiming them for others. I have a sneaky suspicion I may not be alone in this.
But as I was worshipping last Sunday, the familiar 23rd Psalm came to my mind. And this is how the words played:
"The Lord is MY Shepherd, I~SHALL~NOT~WANT"
"He maketh ME to lie down in green pastures"
"He restoreth MY soul"
"He leadeth ME in the paths of righteousness..."
on and on and finally...
"Surely GOODNESS and MERCY shall follow ME... ALL~THE~DAYS~OF~MY~LIFE..."
Friends, I've been living in the valley for a while now. It's so easy to become discouraged when I'm feeling weak, tired and worn out by the storms of life. Circumstances these past months have taken me almost to the breaking point at times when I've allowed myself to indulge in self-pity and worry. With my head I fully have known there are so many others in much dire life situations, yet my heart still cried out "how much longer, Lord? How many more roller coaster rides before things normalize again?"
Don't get me wrong. The temptation to look at circumstances and fall into a sea of despair is still there. I don't see any hard evidence our economy is getting any better. Every time I turn around it seems someone else I know has lost their job~and all too often it seems that older employees have a target on their backs. It's easy to lose hope...
we turn our focus back to the One who is all about goodness and mercy, and take hold of the truth of His Word. That's where hope is found. Thank you God for reminding me again.
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." ~Philippians 3:12