In the Midst
October 31, 2019
Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash
" Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands." - Psalm 138:7-8 (ESV)
Who among us does not walk in the midst of trouble?
Yet, who among us and reading this has not survived such trouble?
Indeed, we walked in the midst and were preserved. We are alive to testify that not all trouble takes away our life or our reason to live.
It is God's purpose for which we live and are alive ... and in His purpose, we thrive. He has fashioned us for the brief moment we live and will lovingly and faithfully write the final chapter of our lives ... and a chapter that resounds with grace and love and joy.
We are not yet done.
We are a people of purpose, beloved and not forsaken.
We are, at all times, the objects of God's undivided attention.
" You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?" - Psalm 56:8 (ESV)
The lesson here is that God must have an extensive library of thick, wet books. He just does not miss these things. God pays close attention.
Nothing distracts God from fulfilling the purpose for which we were placed here. We are never forgotten, ignored, nor overlooked.
It evokes the response of trust from us.
" When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?" -Psalm 56:3-4 (ESV)
This goes for all time and any time. Trouble colors the backdrop on our lives. It surrounds us and sometimes, overwhelms us, but the scriptures declare hope.
Psalm 40:11 shouts in my ear, "As for you, O LORD ..." 5 powerful words that trump all other assumptions, attitudes, and pronouncement of men. My character and moods may waver, but "as for God ..."
Psalm 40:17 ends with the prayer of an impatient man, "do not delay," cries he who is learning to wait patiently on the LORD.
In retrospect, it was a minor irritation and a low level problem, but I lost my phone on Halloween seven years ago and assumed it was stolen along with vital information that left me vulnerable and without a means of communication.
I remember writing:
My phone was stolen today and I finally realized I had a tracker on on. So we rode around town for a while tonight and I even knocked on one door where it was located, but it was not there and moved. So, I'll have to cancel the service tomorrow. I may be able to get delayed voice mails. We shall see. I've changed my main passwords. Life is fun!
The fact is that we chased that phone all over town and we were always a mile behind. We were getting into shadier and shadier parts of town and it was getting dark and ominous. So we quit.
Two days later, we found the phone, lodged under the back seat of my wife's car. It had been there all along, sending out a signal ahead of us. We would have chased it forever - or at least until the battery died.
I think I have chased a lot of problems and solutions that way, rather than trusting that God will always bring His purpose to pass and that I can trust Him with my well being.
"Grace hath brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home."