The last year of my life has been marked with its fair share of trials and tribulations. The way I figured it, I had two choices:
1. I could sit back and crawl into a cocoon, OR
2. I could rise up and draw closer to God than ever before
Now, on the one year anniversary of being fired from my job, I can say with 100% certainty that I am so glad that I chose the second option. As comforting and relaxing as the cocoon sounded, I don’t believe that anyone would have grown much spiritually if I opted for it, myself specifically.
I have been reading through the book of Psalms for the past couple of weeks, and I have been absolutely blown away by the raw emotions that were continually poured out to God by the psalmists. Let me summarize by saying that they praised and complained…a lot! Take this one for example, “I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice” (Psalm 55:17). But, I have found myself doing this very thing throughout the past 12 months, go figure.
Here's another one: Psalm 6:1-“O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath.” David is literally pleading for the Lord to take it easy on him. Or how about this one, it struck really close to home for me: Psalm 10:1-“Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”
I find it so easy to slip into the lie that God is distant and hidden from me during the trials in my life. Why is it that when I need to draw near to God the most do I seem to get further away? Can I just shrug it off as human nature? No, it is one of the down sides of having the gift of free will. We have the free will to not seek Him.
However, on the other side of the emotion spectrum that is found in the psalms, there are moments of great peace, security and rest. Or, as our world refers to it, Rest & Relaxation (R&R). But, unlike the world, these psalms offer a lasting rest that can only be provided by our Lord.
Take for example Psalm 11:1-“In the Lord I take refuge”, Psalm 23:3-“He restores my soul” and Psalm 32:7-“you preserve me from trouble.” And the one that has spoken loudest to me, Psalm 73:26-“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
It is pretty awesome to know that we serve a Lord who can continually provide us with some well needed R&R during the trials and tribulations of our lives. All we have to do is turn to His word and seek Him so we can rest in the shadow of His wings.
And as Chris Tomlin so beautifully puts it, "Jesus has overcome and the grave is overwhelmed. The victory is won, He is risen from the dead!" And now, it is time for us to rise above this life, relax in His word, and find rest because He has called and labeled us as one of His own…a victorious child of God!
Here's a link to "I Will Rise" if you would like to join and "magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!" (Psalm 34:3):