Friday, December 26, 2008

Psalm 27
An Exuberant Declaration of Faith

The LORD is my light and my salvation;Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;Of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,They stumbled and fell.
3 Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.
4 One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,And to inquire in His temple.
5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8 When You said, "Seek My face,"My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek."
9 Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me,Then the LORD will take care of me.
11 Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORDIn the land of the living.
14 Wait on the LORD;Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;Wait, I say, on the LORD!

This was sent to me Christmas morning by a dear friend. This dear friend is also my Pastor's wife. Can I brag on her for a moment? After I heard from the nurses that we would be declaring Eric brain dead the following morning my pastor, Steve and his wife Wendy asked if I wanted them to stay with me. I told them to go home. They did but then came right back down (a half hour trip) deciding that I probably did not know what I really needed. Wendy sat with me all night long singing with me, holding my hand, and reading the Psalms to me. She prayed over me as I said good-bye to my husband.
She truly is another person that I will never be able to fully thank.

It makes all the sense in the world to have her send me random notes of kindness filled with Psalms. The above was particularly encouraging to me. She highlighted portions of it to remind me of God's promises to those He loves. But, as I was reading it I realized that I finally understood that the whole Psalm was written for me...not just the good parts.

Blame it on my concrete way of thinking. I am not a very abstract thinker which makes reading the Psalms a bit difficult at times. I have never fully related to the Psalmist who wrote things like "the wicked come against me to eat up my flesh". All I could think of was David in some cave trying to hide from the jealousy of Saul. I don't have one that is out hunting me down to destroy me.

But, if I am to think in a more abstract way I can see that there are many enemies that pursue me. Anger, bitterness, jealousy, self-pity. These are a few of the many different "enemies" that can arise while grieving the loss of a loved one. You can find yourself angry at God or even at the person who has left you. Bitterness sets in if you blame God rather than praise Him for His Sovereignty. It can be incredibly painful to see others happy and whole but allowing this pain to seep too deeply into the heart can cause jealousy. And, I am sure you can figure how self-pity could be the worst of enemies.

I will probably sound like a broken record here but when all is said and done it is God who supremely reigns over our lives and recognizing His authority over all destroys these and many other enemies of our soul.
There are 150 songs that reflect His Sovereignty. As the Psalmist cries out to the Lord for help he also declares the praises of the only One who can vanquish his adversaries.
I was explaining to someone recently when the heart is heavy it is crucial to cry out to Jesus. It is important to take those thoughts captive. It is a must to allow the meditations of your heart to be an acceptable gift of praise to the Lord who is your high tower, your defense against the enemy. He is your fortress.



Anonymous said...

Once again, He's done it! Spoken to me by your post.

My troubles are no where near yours; nevertheless, those same enemies have been lurking to devour me.

Bless you.

lovedbeyondmeassure said...

I have been following you for a year now, I first heard of you and your family, when your beloved was still here, and I had the honor of meeting you when you were here in Colorado, for the Conference. I have been praying for you and your family constantly, and all this time I felt that is what I was to do. Today I must tell you, I understand. I too have seen and felt the enemies lurking and waiting to devour me. He has shown me who and what they are, and to trust in and rest in and on Him. I agree the psalms are amazing. Just recently I have found Hannah's prayer in I Samuel 2:1-10 is the song and prayer my heart is saying. I finally understand and know what was in her heart.
It is amazing to me how His word's seem to say what mine cannot. I will continue to pray,and lift you and your family in prayer. I do understand, my beloved husband, too is with the Lord. It has been a few more years for me, and I can tell you there has not been one moment or there has not been one tear shed, the Lord has missed. He has been there all the way and I have come to love Him even more.

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much Heather. That was just what i needed to hear. My grief is over the loss of my past as I found out my husband of fourteen years has had a secret life of pornography from even before we were wed. I have my good moments and my bad. My enemies have been working hard the last few days. Thank you for sharing a bit of Christ with me today.

sheep wanderer said...

Still remembering you all and still learning loads from your posts.

So happy Christmas was a happy time for you all.

Liz, UK

P.S. I missed your normal playlist over the hols! Glad it's back to normal:-)