Scripture: Psalm 102:
3-11 I’m wasting away to nothing,
I’m burning up with fever.
I’m a ghost of my former self,
half-consumed already by terminal illness.
My jaws ache from gritting my teeth;
I’m nothing but skin and bones.
I’m like a buzzard in the desert,
a crow perched on the rubble.
Insomniac, I twitter away,
mournful as a sparrow in the gutter.
All day long my enemies taunt me,
while others just curse.
They bring in meals—casseroles of ashes!
I draw drink from a barrel of my tears.
And all because of your furious anger;
you swept me up and threw me out.
There’s nothing left of me—
a withered weed, swept clean from the path.
Observation: Even the patriarchs of our faith had times of great distress and pain, but God can bring us through all of our struggling times.
Application: You know, God never promises that trying to live a life of service to Him will be easy. He never tells us that because we obey Him, and love Him we will never have tough times. In fact, it seems to me that the scripture warns at least as much about the difficulties involved in living for God as it promises the pleasures. Of course I think it’s natural for us to focus more on the promises, inner peace (in spite of outer turmoil), strength to endure, treasures in heaven, and there are many other great promises. In spite of the promises of God that we find in the scriptures, the spiritual life is never painted as one that is void of pain and problems.
The examples of the Saints in the scriptures, and later on in the history of our faith are without a doubt pictures of what we can expect. The road is narrow, and the way is hard, but he or she that endures receives the prize of eternal life. Its not always going to be easy, it’s not always going to be fun, and peace is not always going to be something that I have wrapped around me, sometimes I will have to go after it and find that peace that is promised, sometimes I must pursue it. Psalm 34:14.
I have learned to expect the mountain tops and valleys, the emotional highs and lows, the spiritual triumphs and trials, and the victories and struggles that we all face in the physical. I am convinced that God walks with me not only on the mountain tops but also in the valleys and that He sustains me through the triumphs as well as the trials and the he leads me through the victories as well as the struggles. Wherever I am and whatever I’m facing I know I am not alone.
Prayer: God of the mountains and valleys,
I thank you for being with me through every moment of life, through the good times as well as the bad. Please guide me into service to you even when I feel depleted and broken, heal me and sustain me through the difficult times, and prepare me for the valleys as I stand on the mountains. Forgive me for whatever weakness I show when my spirit is low, and forgive me for whatever pride I take in myself when my spirit soars. Keep me from temptation and evil and allow your purpose to unfold in my life and through me to the world that you place in my path.
Yield: I surrender to God.