Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Psalm 34 By The Sea

              This year has been hard for me. Since the 1st day of January it seems like I have been in a trial, coming out of a trial or heading into a new trial. My prayer life has not ceased, in fact, I can honestly say that my prayer life has tripled. My trust and reliance upon the Lord has been my only comfort. I have fought to get this far, and weariness, many times tried to pull me under. But I clung to the hope that He would bring me through it all, and that one day, I would see His glory at the end of it all.
              My husband and I spent last week in Hawaii. He was honored with an award for his hard work, and the award was an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii. God had given us a great gift, and I was overwhelmed by His goodness. As I sat there, in Hawaii, listening to the sound of the waves coming up the shore, and watched as the moon glistened against the clear pacific waters, I realized at that very moment, this had all been prepared for me. This morning strengthened my heart and gave me courage to continue to fight, to continue to press on towards the goal the Lord God had given me. From that moment on, I was forever changed.
              I woke that morning around 4:30 a.m. The time difference giving me more struggle then I thought it would. All I could hear as I made my coffee, was “Psalm 34”; a still small voice whispering to the center of my soul. I grabbed by Bible, my coffee, my journal and my pen and set off to find a quiet place of retreat. I had a hunger in my innermost being to be in His presence; nothing was going to satisfy me until I had found Him.
              I settled down into a secluded place along the shoreline and bowed my head. My heart was overwhelmed and I didn’t know where to start. Did I pray, or did I praise? Did I lift up my voice in awe and wonder and thanksgiving? I was overwhelmed by His grace. Here I was, sitting in Hawaii, a place I never thought I would see, yet here I was, sitting in the glory of His creation, praying next to the crystal-clear sea. I cried, I prayed, and I thanked the Lord my God for His great gift of grace. As the waves came upon the shore and light began to dawn, I opened my Bible to Psalm 34.
              “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul makes its boast in the Lord, let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together! I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” Psalm 34:1-6 ESV
              It hit me right there; right in the middle of my soul, every trial, every struggle, every moment had been preparing me for this. From the moment the first trial hit, the moment I heard the Lord God say, “Trust Me”, this day, this trip, had been prepared for me. This poor woman cried out to the Lord and He heard her, and He did, He has and He always will deliver her out of all her troubles.
              Nothing I could have done could earn what I was experiencing right there at that moment. I did not deserve this beautiful blessing that was surrounding me, nothing I could have said or done could have made my God do anymore or any less. I knew then, at that moment, that all I had endured, all that I had to fight through, all that I had to claw my way out of brought me to this moment. This moment of truth where I would see the hand of my God and how He had delivered me.
              “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears toward their cry.” Psalm 34:7-15
              His word is truth. I want to encourage you today to believe no other, believe only in His word! He says trust Him. It hurts, it is scary and we don’t know what the outcome of that trust will be. But oh, my friend, trust Him! We do not trust in the Lord because we cannot see the end. But know this, if you get nothing out of my words but to trust Him, then I know you will see good; you will see and taste and know that the Lord God is good! He has nothing but goodness and mercy planned for you.
              I sought the Lord and He delivered me from all my troubles. I feared Him and He has not withheld any good thing from me. I trusted Him and He has not failed me, not now, not ever! Neither will He fail you.
              Tears like the waves of the sea cascaded down my face as these truths made a home in my soul.  I knew at that very moment that my God was God forever more. No mountain was too high, no valley was too low, no river was to wide and no ocean was too deep for my God to rescue me. My God, my God, was always with me, encamped around me, and He would never let me go.
              Hold on my friend, hold on to Him. He needs you to trust Him, because He does see the end. He sees the blessings ahead, and He has prepared a beautiful moment for you by the sea of His grace and His mercy. Trust Him! Cling to His word, cling to His grace, cling to His holiness and seek His face. I know it is true, He will bring you out, He will bring you through. The light will come, the darkness will fade and the glory of our Lord will forever remain!
              “The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The Lord redeems the life of His servants, none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.” Psalm 34:16-22