Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Damsel in Distress

"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
from where shall my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, 
who made heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1,2

Have you ever had one of those days?  Maybe you didn't have three men tying you up; it was probably more like your children or maybe your co-workers but it seemed just as dire. The damsel in distress concept has been around for a long time.  Most super-hero movies have a damsel that needs saving - same with blockbuster thrillers - and in these movies, there is a point where all hope is gone.  You try to figure out who will save the day and how they can possibly do it, but it just makes your heart race even more.  And then, in the distance, help appears and before you know it, the story is resolved.

This fall I am encouraging my ladies study to memorize Psalm 121.  It's a great damsel in distress passage.  One verse a week for eight weeks and it's done.  Really, anyone can do it, but let me show you the value in it.

Life is hard because of sin.  God's initial creation was good and perfect - without sin, which means it was without sorrow, conflict or consequences.  But sin changed that and today, we live in a world ripe with the consequences of sin and if we completely honest, often we find ourselves looking in the distance, wondering when help will arrive.  Bills are overdue, children are heading down dangerous roads, temptations are feeding our addictions, health is failing, quarrels are increasing, your patience is dwindling and you just want a way out.

Then this comes to mind:

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord is your keeper.  The Lord is your shade on your right hand.  The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will protect you from all evil;  He will keep your soul.  The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.


Do you believe this?  Is God really in control?  Does He have your back or are you doing this life thing on your own?  Because God is immutable, what we learn about Him in this chapter still stands today:  The Creator of the universe cares about you - He is aware of all of your burdens and He doesn't need a break from watching over you. He's never tired and He's never distracted.  He is in the business of protecting you and keeping you.  It's not a part time job - it's what He loves to do.

Now, though Jesus Christ took the punishment of our sins away, the consequences are still present - so buck up, friend.  You're not alone.  Work hard, eat beans and rice and get those bills paid off.  Set boundaries for your children and act like the adult in the relationship, then get on your knees and give them to the Lord.  Radically amputate the temptations that flow into your life and get help for your addiction.  Get to a doctor, stop fighting and be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving.  Do all of this, knowing that your Support, your Foundation, your Body Guard is ever present, wide awake and in total control.

Oh, and how about memorizing Psalm 121 as a reminder…have a great day, friends!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sister:

    I've only read two of your posts but both of them told me that you understand that true Christianity is more, much more than words. It has to be doesn't it? Why else would God ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son who God gave him.....? We too must pass through tests of our faith, otherwise it isn't 'tried in the fire' and proven, tested, real.

    We learn so many things this way, and there simply isn't any other way to learn them. As I read your pslam 121 thoughts I recalled the time some years ago when my back hurt so bad I could hardly work, I was nearly 60 yrs old, doing back breaking work in the heat and humidity of Alabama, was experiencing skin cancer that I had no money to pay for, and for a time I would wake up evey night soaked in sweat and had no Idea why or money to pay a Dr to find out, but I still had to get up every morning and work. In the midst of this God would brings passaged like this "with power" as the Puritans put it, to my mind and heart, and at other times I would be comforted wonderfully with the presence of God. On one occasion as the result of prayer and study of Hezikiah's experience and faith given to believe, God healed a very rapidly growing, bleeding skin cancer on my temple....I prayed and fasted for three days on the third day the tumor simply crumbled and fell of my face like a pencil eraser and the place where it had been was nice healthy fresh new skin. Now had this not happened I'd never have belived it could nor would I have had this assurance of His power and love the next time I was called to suffer and trust him, in similar and different ways, as I have been repeatedly since. Also, there are times where there is no sign of his presence in testing, other than the memory of this and other deliverances, and this is when I recall Jesus' words to the disciples after he'd fed the 4 and 5 thousand, "don't you remember.....?" Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, and He still tests and refines and teaches and chastises.

    Another aspect is that usually with the affliction there is some area of my life that I still need growth in and the affliction causes me to focus on what He is trying to teach this bull head of mine....and sometimes He just wants me to see that it always has been and always will be that my total depravity was overlooked by pure soverign grace.

    God bless