I read a post recently which simply read: "The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything." I don't disagree with this, but wanted to challenge us to see this from a little bit of a perspective - God's. In God's eyes, when we say "yes" to Jesus in our lives, we receive the best of everything, affecting not only our "happiness", but our sense of contentment, resolution, determination, and ultimately our peace. In essence, God's saving graces sets our world on a kind of "different axis" - we stop focusing on the little we have and we begin to embrace the "much" he has! We move from wanting the "best of everything" and the "making the best of everything" to the "we have all we need" kind of living!
The Lord says, “If you love me and truly know who I am, I will rescue you and keep you safe.
When you are in trouble, call out to me. I will answer and be there to protect and honor you.
You will live a long life and see my saving power.” (Psalm 91:14-16 CEV)
As we wrap up our study into this psalm, I want us to continue to focus on what God has been saying through our psalmist. First, there is no place for fear or anxiety when we are firmly in the arms of Jesus - nothing can "rock our world" when we are firmly planted on the Rock. Second, nothing secretly planned to overshadow our days is out of his purview. All of our days are within his "scope of insight" and protection. Therefore, we have nothing to fear in our past (for it is all under his blood), present (for he helps us navigate even the biggest of chasms), or our future (for the path ahead is fully known by him). Third, others may seem to be overtaken by the things which "lie in wait" for their missteps, but we don't have to live like this. We can trust our steps to be ordered when we first place those steps into his care. Lastly, legions of angels are at his service (and ours), lifting us above hurdles, removing obstacles, helping us navigate torturous course, and shielding us from fiery darts of our enemy. We walk assured because we ARE assured!
As we close, we find a couple of conditions - something which is not uncommon when we consider the promises of God. The "if" is our focus today. "IF you love and truly know who I am..." I think we all have some understanding of who God is and how truly vast his "span of control" is, but our understanding is finite and his span is infinite - so to truly understand it is almost impossible. We can understand the conditions of his protection, though. These are kind of "finite" and within our scope of understanding. First, we are to love him with all we are - surrendering our mind, will, and emotions to his care and oversight. As a chick crawls under the shelter of the mother hen's wings, we nuzzle up close to him and allow him to settle troubled emotions and mind. The chick who desires protection under the wings has to actually move inside their protective covering - the chick submits the will to live independently (out in the open) to the will of the mother hen (with all the desire to protect her young ones). Our willing surrender to his care is important - because it is what helps us move within the protection of his sheltering arms.
Those who are more than just "acquainted with" him as their God not only know the sound of his voice, but he knows theirs. I find it amazing to know that a shepherd actually knows the bleating of his own sheep. He does because he has but one focus in mind - their protection. The same is true of our God - he knows but one focus - our protection. He listens intently for the cries of our heart. When we are troubled (or in trouble), we are to call out. Why? It may be because in our cries God hears the submission of our will to the protection of his heart. As we call out to him, he responds by being more than our protection, though. He protects us - but he also places us in a place of honor. He honors us by lifting us our of danger's way and placing us in the safety of his sheltering arms. I don't know about you, but when mom or dad used to take me into their arms, out of harm's way, they usually did something you may have forgotten - they lifted you up. God is in the business of "lifting us up" above the circumstances which frighten and bring dread, threaten and taunt. He is on the mission to honor us - to lift us up as an example of his grace and love.
We have so much to consider in this one psalm. I hope you will take time to consider how God has honored you time and time again with his grace in action within your lives. When you stop long enough to consider how he has lifted you up above the muck and mire of life's trapping influences, you might just turn your eyes afresh to him and bask in his love a little deeper. Considering his actions on our behalf is one way to meditate on his greatness, bask in his love, and become enraptured by his grace. Just thinkin.