Recently I've become fascinated with this bit of poetry:
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love;
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the wayI should go,
for to you I entrust my life." (Ps. 143:8 NIV)
It was written by one of my favorites, David, King of Israel. His writings are always so descriptive and make it easy to relate to his circumstances at the time. For instance, these four lines are tucked away in a longer passage where David is describing the enemies who have been chasing him. He is calling out to God for help; hoping he hasn't been forgotten in the grand scheme of the universe.
While busy describing the horrible situation he finds himself in, David can't see anything good. Then, as he often does, he intentionally turns his attention to the God he serves. Looking at God's goodness requires looking away from the darkness of the situation. Sure, the situation is a true nightmare. But the light of God's faithfulness dissipates any of the shadows where fear can hide.
This has been a month that has leant itself to making me choose my focus. Will I focus on circumstances or on the faithfulness of God? Will I believe the report of disappointment or will I believe all things are possible with God? Will I rehearse curses over the lives of other people or will I rehearse words of blessing? The choice has been mine. And although the choice has been clear, it has not always been easy.
Our church did a great series by Andy Stanley, "What Makes You Happy?" (It's free if you'd like to watch it on Youtube.) He makes clear that "No Thing makes you happy. Happiness always involves a Who or Two." Great, right?
As I studied to share one of the lessons, i was really struck with this premise he taught. Everyone wants to experience pleasure, that desire is built into our DNA. But if we dedicate our lives to pursuing pleasure only, that choice will eventually cost us our happiness. Pleasure is temporary. But genuine happiness associated with those around us and fulfilling work will carry us throughout life.
I'm just like everyone else. I would prefer to always be experiencing pleasure; never encountering tears or struggle or defending myself from enemies. But that isn't reality. All of life is a struggle of some sort.
Today, my precious friend - Becky - made public a difficult diagnosis she was given last week. Becky and I have been walking together through life for over 20 years. We have laughed, cried, encouraged, prayed and listened. (Actually, lots of listening to one another has gone into our friendship. What a gift!) We share grand babies. We share ministry as pastor's wives. We share a deep love for God.
Last week I listened as Becky shared a really unsettling prognosis. My heart was jolted to the core by the numbers and evaluations she was sharing. But the entire time, I kept remembering other times my precious friend has received negative reports. Some physical, some emotional.
With each new wave of trouble, my friend has steadied herself by focusing on promises from God's word. I've watched her straighten her sagging shoulders; purse her lips with a determined air and march forward. Her steps seemed to say, "Not giving up today! Nope, I still believe!"
Because I've seen God be faithful to this amazing lady so many times, I fully expect to write again soon and share the medical intervention that was discovered. I know there will come a moment where I'm able to report that she is WELL!
That isn't today. So along with King David I cry out on behalf of my friend, "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love!"
Would you please take a moment to pray that with me? Thank you! May the morning also bring you news of God's faithfulness. May you experience His goodness in an amazing way today.