Verses 1 - 5:
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.
4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall 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 meditate in His temple.
5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
Chris Tomlin happens to be one of my soul's messengers when it comes to worship music. There are many because I love music, but there are some who reach within in such a way that it is obvious they aren't just a songwriter, but a messenger sent by God for this very time. Mr. Tomlin is one of those. He has a new devotional available through the YouVersion online Bible called "Burning Lights" (the link goes to all the plans, but if you look for it you'll find it along with many other great reading plans). I am so thankful that someone thought to reach out to him and ask if he'd be willing to share his Biblical insights with us through a 5-day reading plan.
Today is a day where my soul feels the need to put everything else aside and just pray. Someone very close to me is caught up in the "what if's" of the world and facing some very difficult circumstances. This friend is rooted in Christ, but has always been able to rely on their self to get things done...to save a situation...to do the right thing. Over the past few weeks someone else's actions are causing a great deal of stress on their personal role and it is showing in the stress my friend carries. As I prayed this morning a sense of peace came over me once again ~ the knowledge that God is before all things and IN HIM all things hold together. He knows the outcome of this situation...He knows the insight necessary to save the business...He knows the heart of the actions on both sides of the coin.
He has it.
It's time to let go of it and let Him do His thang.
Like every human being in the world we let it go and then a few minutes or hours go by and that stress begins to show itself again. A bloody nose..a roiling and upset tummy...a short temper...eating something to soothe ourselves. It shows in the little things like biting our nails...tapping our feet...feeling the need to DO something like run or eat or shop or clean!
And again we need to let it go.
What those feelings are that make us think we need to do those things (all of which are not bad in themselves) are feelings that need to lead us to the foot of the Throne of Grace with Confidence. It is in those restless moments that God is trying to get our attention ~ trying to get us to realize HE has it. HE has US. No matter the outcome. No matter the consequence. No matter the pain or the diagnosis. HE has US.
HE H A S US!
Do not be afraid ~ and if you start to feel that coming up again? Well, He knows already. It's kind of like a parent who knows the child who said they wouldn't take a fresh baked cookie but is now standing before us with chocolate on his lip saying he didn't take it...He knows we are still holding on to it. He knows that fear is still there. He knows we're human and we need Him. He also knows He loves us and longs for us to "get it."
He longs for us to "get" that no matter how many times we take it back and think we need to deal with it on our terms He will always be there when we realize we can't and give it back to Him.
He longs for us to "get" that when we realize we're holding on to it and we're in the process of giving it back to Him He's not going to go, "Again? Seriously? How many times do I have to tell you? I've got this. Now go on and knock it off already!"
He longs for us to "get" that when we realize we're holding on to it and we're in the process of giving it back to Him He's going to say instead, "My Love...I'll take that burden from you. Here is My peace. Take this instead. I love you..."
What fear are you holding on to today? What do you keep pulling back from Him?
Is it your parenting duties? Do you just keep thinking YOU need to say something, do something or take the task of changing your child's mind back into your own words? Do you feel the need to "remind" (we don't nag) because they just won't get it if you don't?
Is it your calling? Do you KNOW He is calling you to step out in faith and do something that utterly scares the bejeebies out of you so you just keep pretending He's not really calling you? Do you keep saying "yes" to other things so you can avoid doing what you're really supposed to be doing? (I, by the way, have NO idea what that's like! Honestly. I mean...really. ;-) )
Is it your lifestyle? Do you know in your heart that the way you're living isn't in line with who you say you are ~ a Christ-follower ~ but you have surrounded yourself with people who tell you it's okay and that God understands so you don't have to change? Do you keep listening to them out of fear that if you do change you'll lose your "fun" in life and lose all your friends and be a loner forever? There's truth in every lie. God does understand...He longs for you to know that...but you still have to change...and you might lose some friends, but you'll get new ones who will be truth tellers and will challenge you to be the YOU you were meant to be.
Whatever your fear is know this: He tells us to NOT be afraid! We all know the story of the little boy standing at the edge of the pool looking at his Daddy who is telling him to jump out to him. Daddy says, "it's okay! I'll catch you!" and little boy takes a step toward the edge of the pool...bends his knees like he's going to jump and suddenly steps back from the pool. Daddy says again, "it's okay, buddy. I've gotcha." Little boy steps forward again, bends his knees and puts his hands up like he's going to dive in. Daddy speaks encouragement. Little boy looks at the water and freaks out again. This goes on for a while and suddenly Daddy takes a step closer. He says to the little boy with stars and fear in his eyes, "hey, Bud....do you think I'd really let you fall? I love you so much! I'm closer now...close your eyes and jump and I'll catch you." The little boy bends his knees, puts his hands up in diving position, squeezes his eyes closed and jumps off the edge. For a moment there is real fear written all over his face and his eyes POP open trying to see his Daddy. By the time he focuses on him he's already in his arms and safe.
He's waiting...Close your eyes...JUMP!