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“In God we boast all the day long, and praise Your name forever. Selah.” Psalm 44:8
Maybe I should have chosen another verse to emphasize today but boasting in You, Lord, and praising Your name forever is where it all winds up. This is where everything comes together and has come together. Wrap up all the seeming junk and hardness of life like a big vortex, all the the good and all the bad, and when it all gets down to the very point of the funnel, it’s where everything winds up- boasting in You and praising You forever. So here I am sitting today instead of spinning at that point in the bottom of the vortex and stopping to think about it all, which gets me to thinking about You.
I’ve been posting verses from Scripture around my house. Some are taped to my kitchen cabinets. Some are lying on the counter. One is on a sewing cabinet. One is here on the floor where I like to go spend time with You alone. I need to see these reminders as the swirling vortex turns. I need to have a right focus, to keep my eyes on the Point so I don’t just become dizzy and overwhelmed by the spinning. But I also need to allow myself to be turned and in being turned, I need to turn to that Point who controls the vortex.
I’ve been reading Psalms and thinking on them a lot. David was pretty human. So were the other authors of the Psalms. They had a hard time spinning in the vortex also. What was true then is still true now. That’s what “as it is written” tells me. I mean when I read Psalm 44 I hear David starting out with his remembrances also. But then he goes over this list where he is saying that You, God, are the cause of our separation. How can You save us and cause our separation that we need saving from?
Paul uses this thought in Romans 8:36 where he points out a timeless truth, “As it is written, ‘For Your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” How can he tie this in with absolutely nothing being able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus? I wonder if maybe Paul and David and others are telling me that I need to focus on the Point and not the swirlings. Maybe I need to focus on the living and active love of God in and upon my life through Christ Jesus. How do I do that? I have to focus on the big picture, like David who remembered Your deliverance because who You were is still who You are. I need to be like Paul who reminded us that though David cried out in desperation, You delivered him time and again. I have to remember that though I feel forsaken, my Deliverer IS coming. I must remember that my Deliverer is here with me. It’s what He does. It’s who You are.
When I am reminded that I am poor and needy; yet You Lord, think upon me, that You are my help and my deliverer, and I wait and cry out that You don’t tarry as in Psalm 40:17, I start to get that right focus. I’m like the sons of Korah, or David, or Paul or any saint. My soul gets cast down sometimes. I am right there with them when they cry out, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted in me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. ” (Psalm 42:5) And then I realize that I want something more than help and a change in situations. Because when I cry out to see Your countenance I am crying out for everything that makes up who You really are. And here’s the wonderful thing about crying out for You like that- You are on my side! The God of the universe is on my side supporting me with every part of His being! (Thanks Skip Moen for pointing that out!) I’m not alone. Others understand because You have taken them there also.
It’s repeated in Psalm 42:11. “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” This verse seems different but it’s just a different relational focal point. The first cry was emphasizing how God and all of who You are is my salvation in every instance. You just sweep in and be God or You just wait and be God and either way You are being God in my life and for me and for Your glory. But this next time, the focus is on what You are doing in me. See health and help are both the same Hebrew word, Yeshua, which is salvation. And Your presence, O God, is the health and life and help and salvation of all of my being. And You are going to take me through the vortex until I have spun into the image of Your Son, until I resemble You and all that You are.
You will take me there until “You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall compass me about with songs of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7) You will take me there so that I may learn to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” (Ephesians 6:10) You will provide those tough situations in my life so that I will know that “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?” (Psalm 27:1) You will spin me hard and turn me around time and again so that I will be able to proclaim “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise Him.” (Psalm 28:7) Not only will I know, but others will be reminded that “The Lord is their strength, and He is the saving strength of His anointed.” (Psalm 28:8) And when I stop focussing on the spinning that has a tendency to make me sick to my stomach, but focus instead on that Point of Help and Health and Refuge, then I will “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:24)
Sometimes help comes right away and sometimes help tarries. But help is always bigger than the situation. Help is everything that You are God. All I know is that when the world seems to be falling apart around me, You never fall apart. This weak and poor and needy person can run to You. You are my hiding place, even when You are quiet. This is because You are my hope just like You were David’s hope and Mary’s hope and Moses’ hope and Paul’s hope. Like them, I can rejoice in my sufferings, knowing, yes, KNOWING that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because GOD’S LOVE HAS BEEN POURED INTO OUR HEARTS THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO HAS BEEN GIVEN US! For while we were still weak and poor and needy, at the RIGHT TIME, Christ died for the ungodly. (From Romans 5:3-6) This vortex teaches me to rely on You, God and it conforms my character to Yours. Teach me to think on this, and no matter what to boast in all that You are all the day long.