Y'all, I'm exhausted.
I know the "testing of our faith produces perseverance," but the testing has been walloping on me. With an ongoing pandemic, family health issues, and job uncertainties, the trials have arrived in heavy waves, rolling on through.
Have you ever been at the beach right before a big storm? It's hard to keep footing. The waves pound, one after the other, in odd timings and in different strengths.
Predicting the next wave is impossible.
So, how do you grab onto the hope and goodness of God, even when you are bone-tired and drained?
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children
—with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
Psalms 103:15-18 (NIV)
Life is Fragile
Gotta love the Bible's blunt honesty.
We can't do everything. We are mortal. And we experience pain like our Lord did.
In the middle of trials, it should remind us—humbly—of our inherit humanity. Our weaknesses. And most importantly, our deep need for God everyday.
The Bible shows we "flourish like a flower." As well, our lives are fragile, blown by the wind.
But, there's something more enduring than our fragile humanity.
The Enduring Love of God
The psalmist says God's love endures from "everlasting to everlasting." And notice how the writer says it is "with those who fear" God.
I picture the love of God walking alongside His children, guiding and directing them through life, whether flourishing or struggling.
But why does God offer His love to those who "fear" Him?
Well, throughout the Scriptures, those who fear God are connected with those who are wise, just, and righteous. Psalm 1 describes the flourishing person by comparing them to a "tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season." And this person loves God's word and righteousness and chooses not to associate with those who are evil.
In other words, the "fear of the Lord" describes a heart in awe of God's glory and softened by His goodness.
Enduring through Trial
There's much to overwhelm you. Much to spark fear and worry.
For me, I'm letting my teaching career cause massive anxiety right now and eclipse a right fear of God.
This Psalm also challenges me to reorient my day around God's enduring love.
It reminds me God's righteousness extends beyond my life, to my "children's children." And, it offers a firm nudge: Everything flourishing and working out depends on God's goodness, not my own.
For you, what's eclipsing your fear and love of God? It's probably a real and immediate challenge, but will its effects endure like the love and righteousness of God?
God's enduring love extends beyond your imminent trials and weaknesses. Allow His mercy and righteousness to ground you in a safe (and sane) humility.
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Alright, time for an upbeat rendition of Psalm 1!
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