Never too Far

First off, thank you to those who expressed to me how they miss it when I don’t write.  It can be easy to listen to the lies that say my writing doesn’t matter, I don’t matter.  I have appreciated the encouragement.

I was praying the other day and realized that I had once again turned to complaining.  This is all too common.  Strangely common also was that this was during a worship service.

I know!  I shouldn’t be complaining during worship.  It just seems that so often when I am declaring His greatness it step right into wondering why my problems feel so difficult and why can’t He do something about them.

And really, maybe it is a bad thing, complaining in worship but in one sense, I’m “ok” with it.  For me, the whole idea of falling on my knees, raising my hands is a coupling of two ideas.  One is God’s greatness.  The other is my complete dependence on Him as His broken, flawed, desperate child.

Anyway, in the midst of worship, in the midst of complaining, a theme arose around Psalm 23.  Different parts of it came out but I got stuck on “your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (verse 4).

I haven’t read a commentary on this so maybe I’m seeing it wrong, but I think a rod is for whacking and a staff is for yanking.  I mean, the rod is what was used to smack the sheep if they weren’t moving along or going in the right direction.  The staff is like the shepherd’s crook that has a hook on one end, which I think is used to pull a sheep back.

I’m not finding a lot of “comfort” in these ideas.  I said something to that effect to my King and He said, “find comfort in knowing I will never let you go too far.”

So, in the immaturity I show, the messed up marriage that I am half of, the ineptitude of my parenting (and now grandparenting), in my complaining and anger and fear and distrust of my Lord, He will prod, He will yank, He will guide me always back to Him.

I would run.  Life seems so hard sometimes.  But, He promised He would complete me.  And, as much as I am “me” (more so), He is God.  I’m not so bad He can’t handle me.

 

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Though I Walk Through the Valley

Dark days, dark hours.

Why do we fear the unknown?  If we’re truthful with ourselves, there are many things that we don’t know.  If we let it, we can be consumed by the fears of what we don’t know.

Oh wait, that’s what I’m doing right now.

David said, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.”  He was talking to God and actually had first hand experience walking through that valley.  I’m pretty sure the unknown part for him was when Saul would kill him, not if he would die.  But he says he’s not afraid.  He’s not afraid because God is with him.

I have God with me in a way that David could not experience.  Jesus died on the cross to save me and then promised that the Holy Spirit would live inside me and be my comforter.  God is in me.

And yet I fear.  Why?

I’m not going to discuss the Peter experience of seeing the wind and the waves and doubting.  I want to look at how I can face my God, my Savior and not know Him, not see Him clearly enough that I allow fear to invade my experience, to infect my decisions.

Who is God?  What is He like?  I tell you, my soul, my intellect, that He is bigger than you can imagine.  He is greater than all that would come against me.  He loves me beyond my power to understand.  He fights for me with passion and power that will consume my darkest nightmares.  I serve a God that holds me to His side, beyond reason and hope.

I WILL NOT FEAR!!!