Psalm 56: 12-13 (the message)
God, you did everything you promised,
and I’m thanking you will all my heart.
You pulled me from the brink of death,
my feet from the cliff-edge of doom.
Now I stroll at leisure with God
in the sunlit fields of life.
The last two lines above kind of captured my heart this morning… “Now I stroll at leisure with God in the sunlit fields of life.” Can you see that in your mind’s eye? Can you sense that kind of walk with God in your heart? It’s exactly what He wants with you! It is the very reason Jesus came! As I read over both verses the word “rescue” came to mind, once again. He is always giving us a rescue…if we’ll take it. Jesus is our ultimate rescue. Not only from an eternity outside of God’s presence in Hell, but Jesus is a rescue from the brink of death in our daily life…is your marriage alive and well or is it withering? Are your finances in order or are they circling the drain? Are your closest relationships withering away or are they thriving? Do the words you speak, your attitudes, promote life or negativity? Is your faith in God growing and flourishing, producing fruit in your life, or is it frayed and worn at the ends?
How about that cliff-edge of doom? Has the path you are walking in life led you to a cliff-edge? Are you staring out over a canyon of loss, unsure how to cross and unable to go back? Is there a subtle sense of doom, a black cloud, hanging low over your life?
Here is the thing…God will do what He promised. He will always do what He promises. Do we know what God promises? Do we understand who He is and what He says He will do for us or do we just wish our wishes and pray He will make them come true? Here is God’s promise for you: I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out–plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for (Jeremiah 29:11 the message). For a good part of my life I would have read that and thought God was going to give me what I thought I wanted. As though I could know what was really best. But now, the more I know Him and can be real with myself about it, I realize that what I truly hope for is unconditional love and acceptance. Freedom. Freedom to be myself. Do I ask for certain outcomes in my life? For sure! But slowly, day by day, I learn that strolling at leisure with God, getting to know the Holy Spirit in my life, fulfills and frees me in ways that nothing and no one else can. There is no substitute!! Jesus is the only one who can resurrect our marriages, attitudes, finances and friendships. He is full of compassion when our faith is weak and we are hanging on by a tattered thread. God is not demanding you get your life in order and your “stuff” straightened out before you can know Him. He is extending an invitation to you…for a walk. In a sunlit field called Grace. You don’t need the right shoes. You don’t need a title. You don’t need perfection or a spotless past. You just need a willingness to move your feet.
Jesus, I pray on behalf of every person who might read this as well as in my own life, that you continue to work in our hearts…that you stir a hunger and desire in our lives to move our feet toward the next step you ask of us. Help us to believe you. Help us to believe you keep your promise to take care of us and not to abandon us. So many of us fear abandonment because of our experiences in life. So many of us can hardly imagine just being ourselves with you and others…we can hardly imagine a relationship with you that is like a relaxing stroll, where we walk and talk each day with our Creator. Many of us can only relate to you through the lens of our performance or religious ritual. We think that being welcomed and accepted by you correlates with how “good” we are. Others of us try to project something that is not really happening in our hearts. Help us to realize every day that anything good and lovely in our lives is from you and not of ourselves. Help us to have hearts of grattitude. God, help us to be real with you, ourselves and others. If we are standing at the cliff-edge or our lives and words are full of death I ask that our hearts be touched with how much you love us. It’s incredible and life-changing. It doesn’t matter how “put together” we seem. It doesn’t matter. What matters and can change our lives from the inside out is knowing and believing you love us completely. Help us to believe. Help us move our feet. In the name of Jesus.