Thursday, June 28, 2012
I've always loved Psalm 107. You know the one with scenario after scenario of people who either found themselves in terrible situations, or in a mess that they helped create. In the midst of their mess, usually as a last resort it seems, they cried out to the Lord. It's His response that I like so much. Instead of ignoring them, punishing them, or condemning them for their foolishness, it says every time after they did the crying out part, then He delivered them from their distress.
So, I've been taking some time to ponder this Psalm and reflect on my own history with God. What I began to see was that I have always prayed about difficult times and situations, but I didn't always cry out right away. Many times as we pray we think we have other options. We are giving Him a chance to work in case He wants to, but sometimes we have plan B waiting in the aisle, just in case He doesn't come through like we hope. I think the crying out that causes God to move on our behalf comes from a place deep inside. It's a place of utter humility and abandonment and yet a place of faith. It is a place of dependence and admittance that we have no other option but Him.
God has a way of reducing our options and hemming us in, even from well meaning people who might interfere with His process in our lives, and it is completely a loving act on His part. Remember, Job and his three friends? They all came with their version of what God was doing and their advice for how Job could get himself out of the place he found himself. None of their counsel revealed the heart of God for Job and prompted God to say, "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has." (Job 42:7) It was not until Job encountered God Himself that peace came to his heart and situation and in Job 42:5 he humbly says, My ears had heard of you but NOW my eyes have seen you.
Some of the most difficult seasons of my life have been enhanced by the fact that there was not an earthly soul who knew, or that I could run to during that time. In no way would I say that God was the author of these things, but He does promise to work ALL THINGS together for MY GOOD. So, these most difficult seasons became the meeting place for me and God, and it was my pain that pushed me into deeper places with Him. I came to know Him as Comforter, Advocate, Defender, and Deliverer during those times.
So, for those who are walking through days and situations where you find yourself hemmed in, and your options reduced, CRY OUT! If you have rebelled against Him and wonder if you will find acceptance in His eyes, CRY OUT! If you have wandered in the desert for many years and feel you have lost your way, CRY OUT! Cry out with everything within, turning your face and focus on Him. Know that He is a wonderful compassionate Father with a great big tenacious love intent on seeing the best for you His child. He can turn the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs. (Ps. 107:35) He longs to gather you in His arms to comfort you and share with you the secrets of His heart.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men, for He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron. - Ps. 107:13-16