Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Daily Devotional Thought--From the Psalms (Lost in a Desert)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today's assigned Psalm is 107:1-9:
1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble
3 and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,from the north and from the south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastes,

finding no way to a city to dwell in;
5 hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
till they reached a city to dwell in.
8 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
9 For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

With GPS systems, googlemaps, mapquest, or a host of other mapping aids, getting lost is not such a common occurrence as it once was. And even if you do happen to find yourself in a new and strange place, chances are you will be able to pick up your cell phone and call somebody to help.

After being dispersed (exiled) to Assyria and Babylon, the Children of Israel were scattered throughout the desert, searching again for a land to call their own (v. 4). They didn't pick up cell phones, but they did call out to somebody who could help--Almighty God. Verse 7 says that "He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle." He heard their call and answered their prayer, providing them safe travel to their destination.

Like I said, getting lost while driving isn't such a common, every day, occurrence, but you and I may find ourselves searching throughout life. Maybe we are considering a difficult decision and haven't been able to discern which choice is better. Maybe we have simply been 'spinning our wheels' and don't seem to be making any progress toward our goals in life. So what are we to do?

It's really quite simple. Verse 9 says "For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things." The real question is this: what are you longing for? What are you thirsty for? Matthew 6:33 says, 'seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

Luther's meaning to the 1st Commandments hits the nail on the head: "We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things." Trusting in God to provide whatever I need means that I won't fear the outcome when I face a difficult decision or struggle to meet "my" goals. In fact, maybe my goals need to become more like His goals.

I'm not saying that your faithfulness is the reason that God gives good gifts. In fact, He gives good gifts to all people without our prayers, even to all evil people (4th Petition of the Lord's Prayer). But as we call out to God, and trust in Him for everything we need, our goals become godly ones, and the kingdom we end up seeking is the one He wants to give us.

Indeed, God will always hear our prayers, and like He did for the Children of Israel scattered throughout the desert, he will answer them, and lead us home. If it were not so, He would have told us so.

Being led home. Amen.

1 comment:

Max said...

Thought you may enjoy this..

CRABBY OLD MAN

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte, Nebraska, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value

Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Missouri . The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . When you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, . . Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . . With faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . . And makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . . 'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . The things that you do.
And forever is losing . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not . . Lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? . . Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . You're not looking at me

I'll tell you who I am . . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . As I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . . With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . Who love one another

A young boy of Sixteen . . With wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . A lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty. . My heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . That I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons . . Have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me . . To see I don't mourn.
At fifty, once more, . .Babies play ' round my knee,
Again, we know children . . My loved one and me

Dark days are upon me . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ... .I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing . . Young of their own.
And I think of the years . . And the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man . . And nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age . . Look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . Grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . Where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . A young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . My battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . I remember the pain
And I'm loving and living . . Life over again

I think of the years .All too few . . Gone too fast
And accept the stark fact . That nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people . . Open and see.
Not a crabby old man . . Look closer . .See . . ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within . . . . . We will all, one day, be there, too!