April 17, 2015

Psalm 69:1 Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.

This verse has always struck me for its plain, unvarnished honesty. Everyone gets into situations sometimes when the brain says, “OK, now it’s time to panic.” We think we have faith, but push comes to shove, and we decide our faith isn’t so strong after all. That same experience is recorded about many of the “saints” of the Bible, but David is perhaps the most open about it. Feeling this way doesn’t mean we have failed or that we’re bad, necessarily, but rather that God is going to take us to another level in trusting Him. Jesus’ disciples remembered verse 9 of this Psalm, “Zeal for Your house consumes me,” when Jesus drove the merchants out of the temple, (John 2:17) and Jesus certainly wasn’t bad! Feeling misunderstood by everyone but God, and consequently wondering if you’re doing things right, isn’t that uncommon, even if it’s hardly pleasant. We should not put up a pious front but rather be honest, especially with God but also with those close to us. If they are in the faith, chances are they’ve experienced something similar!

I’ve had my moments like this, but some people look at me now and don’t believe it. I’m not to be talking constantly about how bad off I was, but I am certainly to be honest, both in sermons and in individual encounters. Everyone has different trials, and some people feel that because your trial wasn’t identical to theirs, you can’t understand their pain. That’s simply not true, but I have to be careful I don’t make people feel put down for what they are going through. I often remember the song “Through It All,” by Andrae Crouch. That is certainly truth set to music! I need to help people indeed “learn to trust in Jesus, learn to trust in God” because of what they are experiencing. I keep having to assure people that God isn’t mean and He doesn’t pick on us, but He’s more interested in our character than our comfort, and He loves us too much to spoil us. As I have experienced in my own “up to my neck” moments, God’s love and power are far greater that whatever the difficulties are, and His grace is indeed sufficient for me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Father, thank You for all You’ve allowed me to experience. Some of it has been delightful, and some has been no fun at all, but You have used it for my good. Help me not get into unnecessary messes by my own stupidity and unfaithfulness, but when trials come for other reasons, help me look to You and give You the praise, trust, and thanks that only You deserve. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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