Sunday, July 5, 2009

Days 17/20 - 150 Day Challenge

Psalm 17
This Psalm is a tough one for me to digest because on the surface it seems to say that as long as we live in line with God, then everything will be smooth sailing. That all sounds well and good - kind of makes me want to stand up and fly right, that way nothing bad will ever happen in my life. Problem is, bad things happen to Godly people all the time, so how do we square that up?
It has always been a puzzlement to me because I have received many blessings in my life that I feel are a direct result of my faith. There have been other things that have happened in my favor that, although less directly tied to my faith, I feel still feel happened because I was faithful. These things that occurred, be they big or small were things that I didn't deserve any more than the next person in the pew beside me on Sunday morning.
Then at other times when I think that I have been abundantly faithful to God's call and things don't seem to be going so well, or the plan that I tried failed. Why is it that things never seem fair? Could it be that our 'righteousness' is not as inextricably bound to our blessing as we think?
I believe that we have trials and blessings in our lives simply because that is the way life is. Were it not for trails, our blessings would feel flat. Were it not for blessings, in times of trial we might lose hope. Either way, God is there with us to help us through the trying period, or to rejoice with us in our victories.
In my search for inspiration for this post today, I came across this song Over My Head by Brian Littrell. The song sums up the way I feel about the ups and downs of live better than I can. I know that problems will come up in my life, just as I know that I will be blessed beyond my wildest dreams at other times. I know I am in over my head in life, but I find it such a comfort to know that my soul has found its place of rest in God.

Psalm 18
*It has been a very long day. I finally had time to sit down and write my post for today's Psalm. I got it all written out and hit the spell check button and then my browser crashed. Will I never learn to save my draft before I hit spell check? I don't have the heart or energy to recreate the whole thing tonight. It was all about how God is like a heavenly Father to us. He not only protects us in the way a parent protects and teaches a child to defend himself, but He also teaches us how to be great advocates for our own children.

Psalm 19
This is another on my favorite Psalms, especially the last verse. I have prayed the prayer that the words of my mouth (fingers) and the meditations of my heart would be pleasing to my God many, many times.
I also love the reverence to nature in this passage. It is impossible for me to look around at all the wonders of the natural world with out believing in intelligent design. I know there is a lot of science that can answer many of the questions about the natural world, and I believe in science to. I just happen to believe that God created science.
I enjoy the beauty of nature even though I would not consider myself an outdoorsy gal. I prefer to enjoy nature from afar most of the time. There are times, however that you need to actually be in the midst of it to truly appreciate the allure of nature. For instance, I had seen pictures of Niagara Falls for many years. I thought the scenery was gorgeous, so I decided to visit there on vacation with my husband two summers ago. No picture I had ever seen did justice to the majesty of the place. You have to be in the midst of it - to hear the roar of the falls and smell the luxurious landscape of the surrounding area. I was completely taken by the whole region. I found God in a new way as I marveled at the scenery.
In the Contemporary English translation of this passage in verse 9 it mentions that the worshiping of the Lord is sacred. When we hear the word sacred we think - set apart for a divine purpose. This is the way I see this scripture in relation to nature. God has set apart these natural phenomenons for a divine purpose - so that we can see his divinity in it. It brings us closer to him as we see the astounding beauty that surrounds us and worship God in doing so.
Once I realized this I became much more aware of the loveliness in nature and began to be much more of a tree hugger than I already was. Protecting this graceful earth became a dedicated passion of mine. It became an act of worship for me to do my part in saving as much of my small corner of the universe as I possibly can in my lifetime.
I think we all should.

Psalm 20
This Psalm to me is a prayer of blessing to others. When become Christians and experience the blessings and love of God, we automatically want that same feeling for those around us.
I liken it, in a way, to a feeling of being in love. Remember when you first fell in love with your spouse and you wished that everyone you knew could feel the way that you felt? That is the way that we, as Christians are about our faith. We want to share that special feeling with everyone around us, so that they can experience it too.
In our zeal to share that enjoyment, though, we need to be mindful that not everyone is looking for the same thing we are. This passage even says that some believe in other things.
Of course this doesn't mean we can't pray blessings for others. I do it all the time, but we should be respectful. I have encountered some non-Christians who do not wish to be prayed for and they feel condescended to when a Christian says they will pray for them in regards to a problem in their lives or for salvation.
This passage is also a prayer that the desires of ones heart will be given and that his plans succeed. This is a prayer that I pray for my children on a regular basis. I know that there is nothing more blessed than to be given what you long for and to have your plans work out. I pray that my children would be able to experience this blessing in their lives.
I would be lying if I said I didn't care if my children chose Christianity as their faith base. As a mom and as a Christian myself, I greatly hope that they chose that path for their lives also. I won't stand in their way if they choose something different, but I pray daily that they will choose what I believe to be the truth. I also teach them the lessons of my faith and help them to sort out the complexities of it's tenants as they grow. I don't think this is much different than any other mom would do, no matter which faith one subscribes to.
Yes, I long for my children to know the God that I know. I yearn for them to feel His grace and compassion. I want for them to find the path that I believe He has already set in place for them. I pray that they would feel confirmation of their place in this world, that their plans would succeed.
I believe that there is only one who loves these beings, my children more than I do and that is God. I trust him to lead them, guide them and make them into the contributing members of society that they are destined to be.

© KDV 2009