Check out the 16th Psalm: (the message paraphrase)
“Keep me safe, O God, I’ve run for dear life to you. I say to God, “Be my Lord!” Without you nothing makes sense. And these God-chosen lives all around–what splendid friends they make! Don’t just go shopping for a god. Gods are not for sale. I swear I’ll never treat God-names like brand-names. My choice is you, God, first and only. And now I find I’m your choice! You set me up with a house and a yard. And then you made me your heir! The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake is confirmed by my sleeping heart. Day and night I’ll stick with God; I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go. I’m happy from the inside out, and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed. You canceled my ticket to hell–that’s not my destination! Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way.”
For most of my life I would have read that Psalm and thought “yeah, right!” Not that I thought David (the author) was actually lying but I guess I just couldn’t see it for “normal, not characters in the Bible” people like myself. This morning when I read it I just had to smile and my heart whispered “that’s me, God!” Wow that sounds brave but it just bubbled out b/c I finally relate to being happy from the inside out…firmly formed from the outside in…my path radiant (I actually see I’m on a path!) simply from the radiance of His love. How greatly it affected my life when I decided “my choice is you, God, first and only…and now I find I’m your choice!” I didn’t have some holy moment. Actually I was quite worn out and sick of my attempts at being a “good” Christian. I have never been the most disciplined person so I was like a roller coaster getting to know God..up and down…round and round. Then I would just get off the ride all together b/c I didn’t feel like I was “doing it right.” BUT…I have felt God’s presence in my life…sensed His love…it has healed my heart, saved and renewed my marriage…so I couldn’t just completely give up. One day I just said…”I’m gonna screw up…gonna mess up…gonna have periods of time I get lazy about knowing God…but I won’t give up. I am determined to know Him.” Somehow that opened up my life in a new way…perhaps it was that I finally realized really getting to know Jesus and changing and finding peace and joy isn’t about my greatest attempts. It is 100% surrender. Everything I have let go of so far He has in its’ place filled me up with something better and although I have a lifetime of “issues” to work out I am discovering how good it is to let go…all I can be is myself. That’s the person I will be best at being so I just get alone with my Father and bare my heart. I think about Jesus…this man who is so much more than a paper figure on the flannel graph board in sunday school…I pray He helps me not to reduce Him to someone I can fit into my pocket but that He reduces me to a desperate need to know Him. Wherever you find yourself…on the roller coaster, in park or running full speed ahead continue to choose Him…He already chose you.