I know the past three posts have not been my own writing, but this was too good not to share.
So. So. Good!
By Sally Clarkson:
Psalm 73: 1-5, 12-19, 23-28 (NIV):
Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. This is what the wicked are like— always carefree, they increase in wealth.
Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning. If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed your children. When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
I read this in my quiet time this morning, and it really resonated with me. Even though I don’t have to deal with people who are truly wicked, I still look around at people around me who aren’t following God or who don’t try every day to pick up their cross and follow him. I sometimes wonder if I’m missing something or if I’m just wasting my time trying. I mean, they seem to be doing just fine–their kids are well-educated and polite, their marriage is fine, and their house is clean–and it doesn’t seem fair! Why should I try so hard to teach my children about God and neglect my housekeeping, or talk to a child who needs me and leave my half-written blog post, or sacrifice a full night of sleep to stay up with and take care of a sick family member when it seems that I could have a fully-functional household without doing serving everyone tirelessly? Have I kept my heart pure and my hands clean in innocence in vain?
And then, just as Asaph says in this Psalm, it all makes sense when I come into God’s presence. He promises over and over to repay us according to our righteousness and reward us for our faithfulness to the calling he has given us. So even when the going gets rough and his blessings seem long in coming–though my flesh and my heart will fail, I know that God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, and just as Psalm 27:13 says, “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Do you ever feel this way? that God maybe doesn’t see you and the hard work and dedication you put forth every day? How can we continually remind ourselves of God’s promises to us and be encouraged to keep going?