January 3, 2015

Psalm 118:13-14 I was pushed back and about to fall,
but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.

This Psalm was written by someone who genuinely loved God, had experienced Him personally, and wanted everyone to know it. That’s why it is quoted several times in the New Testament, including by Jesus! (Matthew 21:42) Parts of it have been set to music many times, including verse 14 right here, which certainly seems appropriate when it speaks of the Lord becoming the Psalmist’s song. The thing is, it could and should be the testimony of every believer, because as Jesus said, in this world we have trouble, but when we are in Him, we experience victory. (John 16:33) Circumstances can indeed push us back to the point we think we can’t take it any more, but in such times we can really discover that the Lord is indeed salvation. Each person walks a different path, but God is there for everyone who will turn to Him. The problem comes when we fail to turn to Him, when we depend on our own resources. The quicker we realize our own resources aren’t up to the task, the better off we are!

I find these two verses are very descriptive of my immediate situation. Emotionally I feel quite “pushed back,” and my margins are pretty slim. However, when I focus on the Lord and praise Him, His peace and strength flood into me. My circumstances don’t change necessarily, but my response to them does. This is further training in trusting God and walking by faith rather than sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) The thing I need to be most careful about is not to wallow in my own misery, being self-centered about it all, but to keep my eyes and ears open to my Lord, to be, do, and say what He desires, so that I may fulfill all His plans for me, which I know are the ultimate good I could possibly experience.

Father, thank You for Your grace. Thank You that I did listen to you this morning, to stop in on the early mass at Uematsu Catholic Church, to be an encouragement to Fr. Kamisaki and a blessing to the believers there. Thank You that his homily was about not being self-centered! Thank You for the service here this morning, and that we’ll be able to attend the wake of a dear friend tonight. Thank you that she is someone we will see again before Your throne! May we indeed be Your agents every moment of the day, experiencing Your grace, Your salvation, even as we are conduits of that grace and salvation to others. 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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