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Braking Points

Exploring the Adventure of Aging

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Faithfulness

In the Midst of Darkness

Seeking God in the Middle of Turmoil

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PSALM 42
PSALM 43

From Elijah’s mountain encounter with God I find myself immersed in these two Psalms of David.  Clearly, David was seeking God, thirsty for God, needing God to present himself in the midst of David’s circumstances, which frankly don’t sound good.  So I had to do some research,  “when did David write these Psalms?”,  “what was happening in his life?”; somehow, I thought having answers to these questions would help me to understand the scene I arrived on when I entered these Psalms.

Most scholars, all scholars never agree, believe David wrote these during the period of Absalom’s rebellion. For some reason as an adult with grown children and grandchildren, knowing that helped me understand the depth of David’s despair.  Unlike, Elijah at Mount Horeb,  David is being attacked from within his own family, but like Elijah, he feels threatened, depressed and deserted by God and man.  He is starting to believe the rumors that God has forsaken him….I mean look at the evidence…2 Samuel 15-19…Absalom forces David to flee from his palace in Jerusalem, takes it over, declares himself King, spreads out on the roof of the palace and has sex with David’s concubines for all to see.  To the people, perhaps even to David, It looked like GOD had deserted David.

And so David begins his prayer with a cry to God, a longing for God’s presence.  He vacillates a bit between faith and doubt, but in this I hear his honesty before God.  He taunts himself…BOY! I can relate to that.  I do that, in fact, I may even use some of the same arguments, “Why are you so depressed?” “Why are you so upset?”  Get a grip, Girl!  Just WAIT for God! 

OK, ok, I am depressed so I will pray to You.  I recognize Your goodness in the world around me, I am praying.  So why, please answer me, God, Why are my prayers hitting the ceiling? Why are you letting me be seen by non-believers this way?  Ok, ok, reel it it, Carolyn, God is in control.  WAIT for God!  Yes, there I am in the midst of David’s torment, his moaning, and also in that faith that never lets go…the God Who never turns loose.

And so David, not the boy who slayed Goliath, not the young man running from Saul, not the King, the adulterer, but the aging, broken hearted father, with questionable fathering skills seeks, pants after the only One he can trust.  Hear his cries:

Vindicate me
Fight for me
Deliver me
Don’t reject me
Reveal your light and faithfulness

Hear his promise 

I will express my joy and thankfulness
I will play my harp for You
I will acknowledge my deliverance comes from You

The conclusion of the story, not contained in the Psalms, does see David returned to the palace and for that he does worship and thank The Lord, but this journey ends without restoration of the father and the son.  I am sure David, like I, would have loved to have gone back and made all his husband and father mistakes disappear.  Instead he buried another son.  

And so this journey sends me to my knees praying for my children and grandchildren, acknowledging my inept parenting, thanking God that  my kids did not become serial killers (JUST KIDDING!!) and that our relationship as adults has blossomed.  

I end remembering that Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” and that takes me back to the first of Psalm 42 as I realize, I am always like a deer longing for streams of water in my relationship with God.

That probably means I am not going to find it in this Caramel Light Frappacino,  I have slurped down while reflecting and writing this morning.

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GO be like DEERS and DEARS!

Good Things I Learned from Mom–More Back Story

My Mother had qualities that continue to make me a better person today.

After my journal entry on learning to lie, I wanted to share three positives I learned from my mother. She taught me that it didn’t matter how much or how little you had, you could still give. She was in fact one of the most giving people I have ever known. Most of her life she had next to nothing and so she crocheted, sewed, baked and shared. When she inherited a bit of money in her eighties, she gave a good deal of it to her church, friends and family.

She also taught me that marriage requires a commitment that truly does honor those traditional vows even the parts most people choose to overlook or ignore…in sickness, for worse, poorer, till death…for she loved my dad at these points and her example strengthens me in my marriage commitment.

Most of all, she taught me that faith in Christ would sustain me against all odds. She loved The Lord and never failed to tell others about her faith.

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Written in Red–Faithfulness

Matthew 5:27-30 

The delay in this post, as I continue to search the Sermon on the Mount, to try to reach into the depths of Jesus heart as he spoke, comes because after reading the passage, after considering his words, after Pausing and Pondering, which are the purposes of this blog, I sensed that while specific to marriage, the intent extended beyond the marriage bed.  Or even the marriage head, since Jesus pointed out to have lust for another constituted the act of adultery.  And then the talk of cutting off offending body parts, an image not easily digested and I fear used by some to uphold body mutilation, leaves me a bit baffled.

Over and over in the Old Testament, God addresses Israel as an adulterous bride.  Over and over again, He allows them to prostitute themselves before other gods…to chase after a King…to take the slippery slope to destruction.  He did not let them do this without sending prophets to warn them or captors to carry them into foreign lands.  But always He brought them back, forgave them, redeemed them and enabled them to rebuild.  

Somehow in the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments,  they finally got the ONE GOD concept, so when Jesus came the Hebrew people worshipped God, at least in all outward ways.  They also got the one man/one woman concept of marriage, although they had built in a few loop holes.  No longer were men polygamous in the Jewish culture of Jesus day. However, when Jesus came the God worshipped by the most “religious” was synonymous with the Law…with all its man driven interpretations and explanations.  And while Jesus has just said he did not come to destroy but fulfill the law, Jesus has come to reveal in his fulfillment the heart of the law and the key is FAITHFULNESS.

Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You must love the Lord your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4, 5 NET)

Marriage on earth represents our marriage as the Bride of Christ (the Church) to Jesus, God the Son.  Even before Jesus God the Father considered Israel His bride.  Jesus tells parables about faithfulness and leaves us with the thought that faithfulness in small things precedes faithfulness in large things.  

Max Lucado says this

“I choose faithfulness…Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that they father will not come home.”

Jesus knows that faithfulness demands a choice, not a one time choice, but a day by day inventory of our thoughts and inclinations.  It requires commitment in every single corner of our lives…Faithfulness to God, Faithfulness to our spouse are a whole lot more natural if we practice faithfulness and promise keeping in every situation.  

Will we fail?  Yes, probably, but that is where Jesus words about the hand and the eye gory as that is come into play.  What tempts me to not be faithful?  That too requires a day to day inventory and purposeful abandonment of the Faithfulness Toxins.  

Carolyn’s Musings

As I said this one was a hard one to wrap my heart and mind around.  It required soul searching.  I love God, but I run after other stuff and care too much about the opinion of others.  I love my husband but I bury myself in a book or with my IPad when I could be spending time with him.  Let’s face it!  I fall short of the TARGET!  

BUT the GOOD NEWS is:  God doesn’t quit being faithful to me.  He lets me come running back time after time.

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