The pierce of trial quickens my sensitivity to God and His truth. I find my heart lanced and hurting and I struggle to fight bitterness. It leaves its own, marked taste in my mouth. Yet, what can compare to the sweetness of Christ- drawing my heart and quickening life unto me in desperate times? How grateful I am for the staying, strengthening Hand of God!
But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12 My foot stands on level ground;
in the great assembly I will bless the Lord. (ESV)
In a present difficulty, I have determined to do what I know is right, regardless what others do or say. (From 24 Family Ways- Way #21) And in God’s sovereign grace, our family just happened to be spending the week in this Way when it was so very appropriate for me.
“I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.”
Not only have I had opportunity to exhort children unto this Way, I also have opportunity to walk in this instruction. God brings me to the end of myself so that I can know it is His LIFE working in me granting me power to walk in His Way and in the Light. And in this, so I can share in the sufferings and strengthening of the children I exhort and correct. It is not mere words. It is our very life.
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
You are our Light, O God. Fear and trepidation and the paralyzing, polarizing spectre of conflict looms among us. And anger, Lord. Anger. But, You. You are the stronghold of our life.
3 Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet[b] I will be confident.
4 One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire[c] in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock. (ESV)
Hidden in You, is where I purpose to stay. These are the days when I find myself beyond my understanding and reckoning. It is here that I hide myself in You because nothing is hidden from Your sight and Your mercy knows no end.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, “Seek[d] my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”[e]
9 Hide not your face from me. (ESV)
Let it always be:
My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek!”
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence. (ESV)
False witnesses rising against me. Is my expectation of people too large? I think it is, O God. Help me instead to walk in mercy and in Light when wronged. Help me extend grace and deal in Wisdom. There is not time to waste pondering and considering the wrongs; yet, only You can untangle the knots in my heart.
13 I believe that I shall look[f] upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! (ESV)
Conflict paralyzes me. False witnesses rising against me. Against some I love. Hide me in your shelter in the day of trouble. I will be hidden and small in the face of accusations and arrows. Keeping always my eye upon you. My heart toward You. Orienting my self, my life toward that one thing…. You, O Lord.
You promise to teach me Your way- You will lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
I Timothy 6
11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before[d] Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. (ESV)
O Lord, there is so much in life that is confusing and difficult to navigate. Our human brokenness, weakness, and error follows us in and out of every day. You are the true Source of all Wisdom and Direction and Your mercy knows no bounds… even to those who are enemies. Change my heart O Lord, that I might look with mercy and love on those who have wrongfully accused me. Let me take your directive as my strong mission. When others judge or harshly correct, I know that I (we) are hidden in You and enfolded in Your mercy. You are the only One who has the full and complete understanding about everything. Keep me humble and help me trust that my vindication is found in You and I am complete and free in Christ !