How Long?

“Are we there yet?” — The mantra of the summer road trip.

I know I’m guilty of showing my impatience. Wishing the time away for that special moment I’ve been waiting for. But what have I missed? What has passed me by while looking so far ahead?

I’m sure you’ve also heard this motto: “Life’s a journey, not a destination”. Yes, but how do you deal with the potholes and detours and “check engine” light?

Psalm 13 speaks of another kind of waiting, longing. Four times in the first two verses Davids asks, “How long?” Pleading for God’s help. Agonizing over what seems to be abandonment. Then it’s amazing how quickly David gets to verse 5: “But…” He quickly turns to trust, rejoice, and have hope.

He knows his God will answer. He is loved by God with an everlasting love. You are loved. Our soul needs to know we are loved. Matthew Henry says it so well:

“Nothing is more killing to a soul than the want of God’s favor; nothing more reviving than the return of it.”

To be heard by God, and answered, is (should be) very humbling. The creator of all that is, listens. To me, to you. What a cause for great rejoicing! But for how long? The well-known band U2 recorded a song 40, which is loosely based on the following verses:

“I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.” Psalms 40:1–3 NLT

The end of the song repeats the question “how long, to sing this song?” Yes, how long?

“I will sing of the LORD’s unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulness.” Psalms 89:1 NLT

Overloaded?

After the month I just had, I should really read a certain book again: Margin by Richard A. Swenson, M.D. The subtitle states, “restoring emotional, physical, financial, and time reserves to overloaded lives”. Throughout the book, Dr. Swenson proposes that we can, and must, reclaim the margin in our lives that has been stolen by progress. He proposed 5 axioms regarding progress that I found very interesting. Continue reading

What if…?

Ever wondered what might have happened if you had done/bought/said/thought something different? Maybe that “something different” could have made someone’s day. Or it could have broken someone’s heart. Sometimes it would be nice to know what woulda/coulda/shoulda been. Like in “A Christmas Carol”, or “It’s a Wonderful Life”. But really, most of those “what if” encounters were pretty disturbing. So, simply rejoice when you obey that prompting by the Holy Spirit to talk to your neighbor, write a friend, accept that invitation.

I’d like to share with you a song that I’ve enjoyed over the years. It is titled “What If” and written by Jadon Lavik. It’s about some of the events we experience as we walk along life’s road and how we oftentimes feel about ourselves.

Sometimes we do things that are pretty impressive:

What if I climbed that mountain / what if I swam to that shore
What if every battle was victorious / then would you love me more?

Sometimes we do things that we’re ashamed of:

What if I ignored the hand that fed me / what if I forgot to confess
What if I stumbled down that mountain / then would you love me less?

But God is constant:

You say I belong to you / apart from the things I do
You say I belong to you / I’m in awe of why you do

Lyrics in italics by Jadon Lavik, Lavikmusic ASCAP

I am in awe. I know that I’ve done some pretty ridiculous things in my life. I’m glad that my God has always loved me, just where I am. And loves me enough not to leave me there. To be conformed to His likeness. He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. I’ve been saved by the Son…

But, what if… Forget about it. (Romans 8:38-39)