Psalm 107:42-43 (MSG)
Good people see this and are glad; bad people are speechless, stopped in their tracks. If you are really wise, you’ll think this over—it’s time you appreciated God’s deep love.
There are times that I do not appreciate God’s Deep and Abiding Love for me. Those segments of time when things seem out of kilter and I feel off course. Wandering through the wasteland looking for that fresh pool of water that He promises is there, it doesn’t have to be a designated “hard time” or even in my wandering but it is often the moment that I am completely unsettled by the circumstances of life good or bad. It is in the midst of transition that the bottom of my heart is stirred up. I am often surprised by the secrets of my heart. Things hidden so deeply within or suppressed that the moment they are released I immediately try to shove them back down.
God is good. I have a great life thanks to Jesus Christ. I make no bones about it everything you see in our life that is good has come directly from our relationship with God unquestionable. He has been an awesome caretaker, provider, healer, deliverer, and more to me. I will love and trust Him for the rest of my life until I meet Him in Eternity. To know this is not to say that life does not challenge this declaration every single day. The human heart is fickle and will turn on you without cause. It will fall in and out of love in an instant if not tamed by self-control.
My daughter asked me to deliver the mailbox key to the young man subleasing her apartment. I decided to run by on Saturday. What a beautiful day! He would meet me at the pool gate where he and his new bride were enjoying such a lovely afternoon. Our own pool was filled with splashing, sunscreen-covered beauties. I did not feel as though I had a care in the world. Jamming to a new Christian artist who I really like, Lauren Daigle, I pulled in and we met as planned. I hopped back in the car to finish a few errands and as I turned around to leave the complex it hit me. With the car in the right position for a brief moment, I was taken back to the moment that I said goodbye to my daughter and son-in-law. I could see the moving truck parked right there even though the road was clear. My heart broke right there. I sobbed as I did the day we said our goodbyes. It came out of nowhere. I haven’t cried like that since that day. In the shopping center, I tried to compose myself to get out of the car to head into the store. It took a few minutes. Our heart hides its secrets well. I thought I was over the emptiness I feel in the separation from my children. It could be that another one headed off to Texas last week. I don’t know where it came from but it is that very unsettling that makes us wonder about God sometimes. It is that moment when our pain, fear, anxiety and emotion take over that we must remind ourselves of His Great Love.
Luke 6:44-45 (MSG)
“You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.”
“For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) Sometimes I have to listen to what I am saying and look at what I am doing as an outsider to determine where I am at spiritually. My fruit must be examined because it comes from the motivations of my heart. The Lord allows certain situations in my life to occur so that I am forced to see that little thing in me that might be keeping me from His Very Best. God can handle our frank conversations. He loves it when we decide to be honest with Him. The Lord desires intimacy. When we allow it then that wasteland of our heart begins to become renewed and refreshed so that living water begins to flow rather stagnant mess. We want life-giving water. We want life. If it were up to us, there would be no stirring of the water. Change is not preferred but endured. Imagine the servants bringing Jesus the dirty water that day. When the Lord changed water into wine, would you be the first one to drink it? Not if you knew what was in it in the first place, just be honest. I am sure that when the man went to try it, the servants who hauled it to Jesus all cringed. When the Lord stirs up our heart, something comes out. This gives us an opportunity to evaluate our progress spiritually and decide what we want in life. Somewhere in the depths of my heart is a painful longing for my children. Poke it and apparently you will get what came out on Saturday. What else is in there I wonder?
Psalm 107:33-38 (NLT)
He changes rivers into deserts and springs of water into dry, thirsty land. He turns the fruitful land into salty wastelands, because of the wickedness of those who live there. But he also turns deserts into pools of water, the dry land into springs of water. He brings the hungry to settle there and to build their cities. They sow their fields, plant their vineyards and harvest their bumper crops. How he blesses them! They raise large families there, and their herds of livestock increase.
When we become dissatisfied and discontent where we are, we become unsettled and look for change. It sounds good in the beginning until we forge out into the unknown. Those who are unwilling to change cannot see the Glory of God in their life because He is moving us from glory to glory. Change is inevitable. We can either allow God to change us in these moves of life or remain unchanged where we are and let the world determine the outcomes. Just for the record, I do not believe that the enemy is out to get anyone who he already has. If you do not know Jesus, love the Lord clinging to Him – you do not have a new life and so the enemy has nothing to worry about because you belong to him by default. To have a new life requires an exchange, all your pain, pride and passion given over to Jesus in exchange for revival, renewal and restoration. The enemy only has something to lose when you don’t want this world anymore.
I absolutely believe that there are seasons of our life including drought and famine – physically, mentally and spiritually, designed to unsettle us. We take a lot for granted in life. The Lord will turn whatever wasteland that we find ourselves in into a waterfall when He becomes our primary resource in life. When we decide to continue to sow in the Spirit – we will not reap from our circumstances but from the supernatural those things that incorruptible. I have found that when I tap into a hidden hurt or overlooked bitterness that the Lord never condemns me but always comforts me in that moment. He wants to bless us. He loves us no matter what. It is not a matter of if-you-do-this then I-will-too but rather God is continually trying to get everything we need and want to us but must move us into position to get it to us. Sin is a barrier for some but for others it is nothing more than complacency or unwillingness to move. It is compromise or the unwillingness to give up what we know we can have to take a chance on what faith in God promises.
Psalm 30:11-12 (NLT)
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
As I continue to try to settle my unsettling this morning, I realize that once again my most faithful God and Father is turning some things around in my life today. I am unsettled by His Hand today for a reason. He wants to do something wonderful in my life. Will I allow it? In Psalm 107 it describes many different scenarios of wastelands to waterfalls, some wandered for years, some were imprisoned in bondage, others were sick and terminally ill, and then there were those who went off to make their own way in life. They all found themselves desperate for something or better yet someone – they called out to God in their need but found their future. We cry out to the Lord for help today but He wants to prepare us for forever. We do not operate that way – no Lord just today will do. His Plan is to take every detail of our life and change it for our good. (Romans 8:28) He cannot lie or change His Mind so now that He has decided to perfect our way there is nothing that He can do. God has to keep His Promises. So we must decide today where we want to live. God is a forever God. He prepares us for the future so we cannot just live for today. He moves us. Stirs us. Shakes us and unsettles us so that His Glory will come pouring out of our life. We want to prosper in this life but He wants us to prosper forever. There is more work to do on the inside because outside we have everything that we need because He has already provided it according to His Word. Now all that is left I guess is to continue this pilgrimage, weeping if necessary knowing there is joy to be found when we get there. We will be stronger. We will be satisfied. (Psalm 84:5-7) Today, I must make it a point not to take God’s Love for granted in the midst of my transition. I must hold fast to the Word that He has given me knowing He is faithful in completing this work in my life as He changes my wasteland into a waterfall right before my eyes.
Psalm 107:1-3 (MSG)
Oh, thank God—he’s so good! His love never runs out. All of you set free by God, tell the world! Tell how he freed you from oppression, then rounded you up from all over the place, from the four winds, from the seven seas.