Tuesday, April 29, 2014

There when you need it most

Sometimes there are seasons we don't expect.
And sometimes reasons too deep for us to comprehend.
And God redeems it all.
His purposes are not dependent on my understanding
          or my approval.
And even the mysteries to me
     are no surprise to Him a bit.
And God redeems it all.

I read a Psalm this morning
that will always stand to me
as a reminder of God's faithfulness.

I was eighteen.  All my friends had left for college, conquering exciting new frontiers. I was still at home, our family struggling with an unemployed father who had big dreams of starting his own business and no money to do it... and certainly no money for me to go to college.  This was not quite what I had pictured, but it was reality.

When faced with incredible struggles, my grandmother never wasted time on asking "why me?"  She poured her energy into "ok, well, what can we do about it?"  She was one of the most creative people I have ever known.  She could turn an empty cupboard into a feast, literally and figuratively.

Instead of traveling to the small college that accepted me, I found myself on a different road, commuting through a wilderness of sorts, 45 minutes each way to take classes twice a week at the community college. That was financed by living at home, working part time at a factory the other three days of the work week, and yet another job ushering at the symphony and theater all weekend.

And on those long commutes to school and work in a car without a radio, one ordinary day, I began to memorize Psalm 100.  And those words began to seep into my heart and change it.  God's Word never returns void.  It didn't just give me something to do or to distract me from total boredom, God used it to strengthen me and keep me from despair.  I could not change my circumstances that year, but God changed how I saw my situation and redeemed it.

Psalm 100 was part of my reading this morning.  And I found those joyful words still engraved in my heart and mind, a pathway rubbed deep from many times traversing it.

God's Word emerges from the very ground and embraces with a strong hug, no matter what wilderness where you may find yourself.

Make a joyful noise to the LORD,
              all the lands!
Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into His presence with singing!
Know that the LORD is God!
It is He that made us,
    and not we ourselves;
we are His people,
    and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
    and His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him,
                bless His name!
For the LORD is good;
His steadfast love endures for ever,
and His faithfulness
            to all generations.

                        Psalm 100


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