Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
The loving kindness of God endures all day long.
2 Your tongue devises destruction,
Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit.
3 You love evil more than good,
Falsehood more than speaking what is right. [c]Selah.
4 You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.
8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the loving kindness of God forever and ever.
9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.
Psalm 34 (click here to read the whole chapter)
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2.My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
3.O magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
4.I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
5.They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.
6.This poor man cried, and the Lordheard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
7.The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them.
8.O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9.O fear the Lord, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
10.The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.
Who do you trust?
I have to be honest here. My brain is tired. Admittedly, most of me is usually tired, but on the whole, my daily routine does not require a lot of deep thinking. It is rushed, it is hectic, it is lovely, but it does not require or provide a lot of rigorous mental stimulation. This last week has been different. If you missed all the hubbub, my little 50 view per post blog, jumped up to over 1200 with a little post, apparently controversial, about the Ken Ham/ Bill Nye debate. Wednesday and Thursday was filled with discussing, debating and defending. Then Friday and Saturday consisted of ingesting and inspecting information at a Creation Experience conference.
Pumping adrenaline on and off throughout most of this week has my mind, spirit, and body a bit more worn out than usual. I have been reading Psalm 31 for a few days now, and I am finally sitting down to process it through my fingertips to the keyboard. Reading the Bible to me, means looking for the Character of God and allowing it to shape me. When I look at this passage, this is what I see:
In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.
But I trust in the Lord.
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.
God is trustworthy. I trust Him. But in a world with so much noise, so much distraction, sometimes it becomes a choice, more than a reflex. Yet, I don’t choose to trust with ignorance. I choose to trust because I have been here before. And I have seen His hand. I have felt His heart. I have heard His voice. And I say with Job:
Then I taught in a public school where over and over I heard from students that I taught who used to hate math, but now loved it! Yes! This is what any good teacher strives for and lots can achieve. However it was not all sunshine and roses. It was also at this school where I learned another important lesson I can use today. Consider the source. After a particularly difficult lesson, a student known for being a regular consumer of marijuana, raised his hand and proclaimed, “I understood this last year when Mr. Hanley taught it, but I don’t understand the way you are teaching it.” Wow. The ultimate blow. The opposite of what every good teacher strives for. But this was Tony. So I was unfazed. “Tony,” I began, “do you think that maybe this was easier last year because you had more brain cells then?” And his response confirmed my theory. He looked around, laughed, and admitted “You might be right.” So there’s that. Consider the source.
3 O Lord my God, if I have done this:
If there is iniquity in my hands,
4 If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me,
Or have plundered my enemy without cause,
5 Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;
Yes, let him trample my life to the earth,
And lay my honor in the dust. Selah
14 Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity;
Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood.
15 He made a pit and dug it out,
And has fallen into the ditch which he made.
trouble shall return upon his own head,
And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.
4 One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
5 For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
****Edited to add these videos which were the inspiration for the post, along with his previous interviews
So the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here.” And David said, “ There is none like it; give it to me.” (I Samuel 21:9 NKJV)
The lesson here really took my breath away. Each victory in Jesus gives us the tools to fight an even bigger battle. And it’s the daily battles that are the hardest to win. But as we fight through the temptations in life, crucifying our flesh, our future is being defined, and mapped out.
11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying:
12 Now David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. Everyone wants to be known, but there is a cost, and we should take these things to heart as well, praying for our pastors, leaders, writers, teachers who are in the spotlight, with a target on their back, with an enemy that roars looking for someone to devour. Take a moment today to pray for someone you know, or have admired that might be in this place.
David is acutely aware of his need for guidance. In this chapter, David asks if he should go in and defend Keilah against the Phillistines. And God says yes. But some of his soldiers have a bit of a problem with it. Like, really David? We are barely hanging on here, and you want us to go defend someone else?
This story pierced my heart today. Truly. Here was David, anointed by God, promised the crown, and here was what seemed to be the perfect opportunity to take what was his. But the character of his heart won out over the convenience of the capture. He was going to trust God to deliver the throne, and through his constant contact with God, he knew this was not how it was supposed to go down. Patience. What? Patience to watch God’s plan unfold. Vision for what God intended to do.