Friday, February 3, 2012

I Will Remember

I love to read the Psalms, especially those penned by David.  He - above all authors in the Book - has to be among the top three in my "favorites" list... not because his poetry is amazing (which it is) but because he is honest about how he feels, with no apologies.  

Most of his songs start off with some sort of lament - circumstances are pressing in and he feels trapped by them.  Betrayal from a one-time friend has pierced his heart.  He is overwhelmed by his own sinfulness.  He is afraid for his life.  He is depressed, discouraged, in despair.  Whatever the case, he expresses it fully and makes those feelings known to God.  

Not that God doesn't already know these things.  But he needs to express them and in doing so, fully know the state of his own heart.  It is tossed and driven, buffeted, weary of the storm.  

This painting is for sale by artist Ivan Fraser  ... I found the image at:
found through Google Images...

And then he comes to a turning point - once his emotion has been fully expressed to its Creator - and it usually starts with "...but I will remember ..."  David lists all the times God has been faithful to him - or even to others - in the past.  He draws strength from those stories, speaks to his inner storm, and turns himself intentionally toward the guidance of the lighthouse - God's presence with him through it all.  He allows faith to take the helm in the midst of the fears that surround him and overwhelm him.  

He speaks truth and peace to his inner turmoil.  He reminds himself - again and again - that God is there. 

David was called "a man after God's own heart."  I believe that this was because he was honest above all things.  Even the best of us can be self-deluded (as was David for about a year of his life) but this man never tried to sugar-coat anything.  He felt passionately whatever it was that he felt.  He was able to weep openly. To worship with all his might. To love completely.  To fully experience the wrath and indignation of injustice.  To admit the depth of his own suffering.  And through it all he kept close to his heart the lessons learned in the fields with his sheep - in the caves with his men - and in the depths of his grief.  

David's example has inspired me more times than I can count.  I've often drawn upon his life, his self-talk, his recorded prayers in my own puny struggles to let go of trying to control my own life and the lives of others - and to let God do it.  David wrote, "You chart the path ahead of me, and tell me where to stop and rest.  Every moment You know where I am."  (Ps. 139:3, NLT)  So many times that prayer (in its entirety) has helped me remember that it's okay to catch my breath, and that God has already seen what's ahead and is with me.  Every moment.  There's no escaping Him - not that I'd even want to - and He is in charge of my life.  

I'm so very glad.  I've been in charge of it before - and it didn't turn out well. I will remember that.  I will also remember that He has promised never to leave, never to forsake me ... And I will remember to say thank You.

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