Insomnia can be a miserable experience, but it can be productive if we let it. One of the dogs decided that they needed to go outside about 12:30 this morning (I had been sleeping for about 2 1/2 hours). Well, when one goes out, they both do. After about 20-25 minutes — I had to go out, track them down, and bring them in. They laid down and went right to sleep, 45 minutes later I was laying wide awake in bed! So about 1:30 I got up; did my devotional reading for the day, prayed some of the Psalms that I had read, prayed about some of the people that were on my mind, and, now, trying to share some of the “musings” about what and where my mind has been.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
(Psalm 91:4-7, NIV)
That reading tells me, that the tragedies and difficulties of life should not cause my faith to vanish. That my God is willing and able to cover me, and provide shelter! I would like to tell you that I never struggle believing that — but, even though my mind intellectually accepts that as truth, my experiences in life cause me to doubt. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!
As I reflected on this passage, and all the implications of it to my life; I was reminded of a sermon that I had the privilege of hearing this past Sunday. Malia and I got up and went to the early services of the Mount Comfort church, and Nathan Jorgenson blessed me with the things that he had to say. His sermon began in Hebrews 11, and then moved to Exodus 14; and the story of the children of Israel leaving Egypt and crossing the Red Sea. There are times, even the stories that we have heard for years, strike a new chord and we learn something new and are blessed by it.
There they were — a sea they can’t cross in front of them, and an army they can’t defeat behind them. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn’t it? I’m pretty sure that we ALL know that feeling! But the Lord has told Moses, …I will gain glory for myself through Pharoah and all his army, … (Exodus 14:4, NIV). There were people standing there, I’m sure, who doubted the truthfulness of that. I may not understand, or be able to explain, WHY things happen the way that they do; BUT I DO KNOW THAT GOD CAN USE ME, AND ANY SITUATION, FOR HIS GLORY! Psalm 91 says that I do not have to be afraid, or be defeated, by the difficulties of life. The only way that I can accomplish that, is by having the faith that God can use everything for His glory.
I want to wrap these thoughts up, with a couple of quotes from Tim Keller’s devotional book on the Psalms, The Songs of Jesus. These quotes come from the devotional for June 21, which was taken from Psalm 74:1-8.
The first is from Elizabeth Elliot, and her book, Through Gates of Splendor: “God is God. If He is God, He is worthy of my worship and my service. I will find rest nowhere but in His will, and that will is infinitely, immeasurable, unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to.”
The other is from Keller’s prayer for the day: “Lord, I praise you that you not only bring glory out of darkness, strength out of of weakness, and joy out of sorrow; but often make good things richer and more powerful through those bad things. Help me so that my mind and heart rests in this truth. Amen.” (page, 172).
(This was first posted on Facebook, June 21, 2016. It has been edited, and revised, for use here as a part of “Psalms on Saturday”. It is my prayer that it has been a blessing to you. Bill)