on a path called Faithfulness

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“For your steadfast love is before my eyes and I walk in your faithfulness.” (Psalm 26:3)

What I see in front of me each day – no matter the disguise it wears – is His certain and unwavering love for me.  His wisdom and grace have me in this season, walking this path.  And because I am belong to Him, my path will always be marked by His wisdom and grace.

The path is called His faithfulness.  

And every signpost reads, “He loves you.”

always before me

 

The problem:  “The fool says in his heart there is no god.”  (Psalm 14:1)

Sometime I play the fool.  I dig into the Word and journal prayers, but when I walk away I forget.  When irritations come and tasks are pressing in, I don’t acknowledge that He is present – right there in the midst of it – working out His will for me.  In that moment, I am the fool.

I recently started reading a parenting book by Paul David Tripp.  He writes

Our Christianity often becomes fuzzier the closer is gets to real-life, everyday experience…”

The ultimate fact of life is the fact that God exists and that we are his creatures.  Everything we do, think, and say is attached to that reality.  We must never allow ourselves to view life horizontally, that is, only in terms of earthly relationships and circumstances.  We must always ask questions about God, his will, and his work no matter what the subject or situation being discussed.

The goal of all this is to our children’s identity [and OURS!] in the existence and glory of God.  We want them [and ourselves!] to understand that they [WE] are called to live for his glory.  We are called by God to do theology, that is, to live our lives with a moment by moment consciousness of God.   – Tripp, Age of Opportunity

The antidote: “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.  (Psalm 16:8)

 

 

 

Bountiful One

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.  I will sing to the LORD because he has dealt bountifully with me.  (Psalm 13:5-6)

Bountiful.  This word brings to mind abundance, more than enough, overflowing goodness, more than my arms can hold.  And this is how he deals with me.  How he loves me.  He has and does and will deal bountifully with me.

But Joseph.  Today’s reading in Genesis continued his story.  At least his brothers didn’t kill him.  But then they sold him into slavery.  At least he was sold into a prominent household and succeeded there.  But then – falsely accused and put in prison.  At least a man who was regularly before Pharoah might mention him to the great king.  But then, “Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”

Forgot him?  Bummer.  Tough break.  Were God’s dealings with Joseph bountiful? Overflowing with goodness?

It certainly doesn’t appear that way in some points in his story.  Yet God’s purposes and vision are much higher, wider, and wiser than ours.  Later, Joseph himself says that God intended it all for good.

Bountiful good.

I can say it now no matter the circumstances because I will still be saying it into eternity.  “I will sing to the LORD because he has dealt bountifully with me.”

Thank you, Jesus, for your bounty. Forgiveness and unconditional love.  A cleansed heart, the power and comfort of the indwelling Spirit.  Purpose and hope and an eternal home.  Peace with my Maker and His image in me.  You are more than enough.  

 

 

Psalm 12

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“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”  (Psalm 12:5)

So it appears that I am starting a little collection of verses from the Psalms about God hearing and responding to the needs and longings of the least of these.

And I’m not sure exactly what He might be saying to my heart through these or how He might want me to respond, but I have few ideas stirring.

So I’m going to take note, keep collecting, and keep asking.

 

 

Psalm 10

“The LORD is king forever and ever…O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed.”  (Psalm 10:16-18)

 

Who am I?

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4

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Who am I, Jesus
That You call me by name
I am counting the stars
On Your blackened sky
You call them all by name, You know them all by sight
In this sea of lights
I sense Your majesty
And I break at the thought that One so great
Could care for me
Who am I, Jesus
That You could call me by name
What could I ever do
To be loved this way
Who am I, Jesus
In Your eyes, tell me, who am I
I am counting the mountains
That I’ve laid at Your feet
And I’m reduced to tears when I think of how
You’ve moved them for me
In this storm of life
You’ve been my safe retreat
Through the wind and the fire You always were there
To carry me
Who am I, Jesus
That You could call me by name
What could I ever do
To be loved this way
Who am I, Jesus
In Your eyes, tell me, who am I
No greater honor could I ever find
Than the privilege to love You for the rest of my life…

~Who Am I by Margaret Becker

Here I am

“After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am’ (Gen 22:1)

Here I am.  This is the response of a servant and a son.  When God called for Adam in the garden, he hid in fear and shame.  Abraham, a man justified by faith, responds without hesitation, “Here I am.”

Like Samuel, “Speak LORD, your servant is listening.”

Like Mary, “Let it be done to me according to your word.”

Willingness. Readiness.  Open hands before the Master who is also Jehovah-Jireh – The God who provides.

Where I am in terms of readiness?  Am I prepared to answer His call in the coming year with the submission of a servant and the childlike trust of a daughter?

Open my hands, Lord.  Give me faith and courage to respond to You with the simple, yet weighty words, “Here I am”