Monday, December 3, 2012

Carry me

There are times in life when we just need a little "carrying".  The journey gets a little rough - too hard to handle alone.  We get fatigued.  Sometimes we just need a break because the battle has been long and hard - that moment of solitude when we just sit back and let the worries of the battle pass from us.  Regardless of the reason for needing to be "carried", there are times when we just cannot go it alone.

God is all strength for his people, ample refuge for his chosen leader; save your people and bless your heritage.  Care for them; carry them like a good shepherd.  (Psalm 28:8-9 MSG)

I find encouragement in this passage today.  The "unchanging" GOD is ALL strength for his people, AMPLE refuge for his chosen, SAVIOR of his people, and the one who BLESSES his heritage.  In him, we find CARE and the arms to be CARRIED for a while.  The one who's promises never fail has us in his care.  The one who is consistent today and tomorrow will be the one to bring us through the battles of both today and will not be caught off-guard by the battles of tomorrow.

He is the GOD of ALL strength.  At best, I have limited strength.  My strength is based on my general health.  It is consistent with the amount of rest my body gets (for in rest, my body finds restoration).  It is dependent upon what I put into my body (only being built up to the degree I give it the good stuff it needs).  It is dependent upon my position - I am stronger standing up than I am laying down.  God's strength is unlimited.  He is not bound by the things which limit us - in fact, he is able to give "boundless" strength to those who ask.  As with my physical body, the amount of "rest" I engage in spiritually determines my spiritual strength.  So does what I "put into" my mind and allow to affect my emotions.  In looking at the position I assume spiritually, I can evaluate the degree of "strength" I will have to endure the battle.  The closer I am to the arms of Jesus - the "stronger" I am for the battle.

He is the GOD of AMPLE refuge.  If you understand the meaning of ample to be "more than sufficient for your needs", then you understand the "ample-ness" of God.  No need exists for which he has not already made provision!  Did you get that?  NO NEED exists for which he has not ALREADY made provision.  Things don't catch God off-guard.  Our need is known to him far in advance of us ever realizing it in our lives - and he has already set out to be "more than sufficient for the need".  

He is the GOD who SAVES us.  Some of us struggle with this one because we don't see any need for "saving".  We think we are pretty okay on our own.  We don't see ourselves as sinners - so we don't see ourselves as in need of a savior.  In the simplest sense, a savior is one who rescues.  There is not one individual on this earth who goes through life without one moment or another in which they need some form of rescue!  In the most literal sense, we will always need someone to be "on-guard" to come to our rescue when we realize the need for rescue.  A lifeguard at the pool of an Olympic event might seem like they are there for looks - because everyone swims so well.  No one can be assured they will ALWAYS and consistently be able to "rescue" themselves when they get into trouble.  Hence, the purpose of the lifeguard.  He's there when the need arises.  In the spiritual sense, we have one who stands guard continuously to be there when we finally recognize the need for a savior.  

He is the GOD who BLESSES his heritage.  Do you know what a heritage is?  It is something which comes to a person because of birth.  It is something which has been "reserved" for the one who will receive it.  WE are God's heritage - the idea is of us being "reserved" for his pleasure.  In turn, we receive a heritage of our own - by being "born into" his family.  A heritage "reserved" specifically for us - as his kids!  No one is without family if they are part of the family of God and no one is without a heritage - both to enjoy today and to pass on to others.

He is the GOD who CARES for us.  He is watchful over us - even when we don't feel we need anyone to watch over us!  As a teenager, I remember wanting my independence.  Then I grew up a little, realized I did not like being alone and on my own so much as I thought I'd like it.  I married, finding some sense of peace no longer being "independent" anymore.  Soon, children were added to the relationship, and my independence was indeed a thing of the past.  In all these transitions, I struggled with the literal "sense" of dependence vs. independence - trying to figure out who was in charge, who controlled the activities of life.  In a spiritual sense, I think we also struggle with the "transitions" we make in life.  We have to determine if we will yield our independence for the safety of dependence upon one who is more reliable than us in determining the course of our "transitions".  There is something quite "restful" about being "cared for"!

He is the GOD who CARRIES us.  Most of us don't admit it, but we need to be carried once in a while.  We wear out!  We get tired!  What happens to one of the shepherd's flock when they get tired?  They begin to lag behind, don't they?  This places them in danger because stragglers are easy pickings for the ones who would want to prey upon them.  So, the shepherd is always watching for the stragglers - not to focus on the fact they are "behind" the others - but to pick us up for a while, carrying us high above the rest until we can again keep up!  When we are carried, it is across his shoulders, secure in his care.  We rise above the circumstances which tired us out in the first place until we are strong enough to once again join in!

There are times we need to be carried - in those times, we just need to allow him to do his part.  Just sayin!

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