Monday, April 11, 2011

Asleep in the light

This part of Psalm 119 is interesting.  It reminded me of when I started out as a Christian.  Actually, even as an old Christian, I fall asleep sometimes. 

Psalms 119:17-24

The first few verses almost sound like making a bargain with God.  Not so sure that's a good idea.  He always wins and we try...  But, if I think about it from a spiritual view and consider Psalms 119 is about God's Word, His generosity and my understanding of the Word, do make my life full.  A life full of adventures, joy and some heartache.  If I ask God to open my eyes, then I understand some of the things that have happened to me were miracles in disguise. 
17 Be generous with me and I'll live a full life;
not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road.
18 Open my eyes so I can see
what you show me of your miracle-wonders.

I remember what it's like to be a stranger in the Christian world.  It was very uncomfortable at first.  I had to learn a new language and how to stop using the bad language I grew up around.   I needed very clear directions.  Recently, I stood next to a guy who frantically tried to find the book and chapter our Pastor was preaching about.  I knew how he felt, so I helped him find the chapter.  He was so grateful.  Following Christ is like taking all the world's philosophies and turning them upside down.  I went from "Get even,"  and "Don't let anyone walk all over you," to "Love your neighbor," and "Give to those in need."  
19 I'm a stranger in these parts;
give me clear directions.

God's Word nourishes my soul.  I memorized, Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  When things are just too overwelming and I feel like there's no chance it will work out.  I repeat it, and remember with His help I can do anything.
20 My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous! —
insatiable for your nourishing commands.

Did you ever notice how some people refuse to accept Christ but are quick to tell Christians what's wrong with them? 
21 And those who think they know so much,
ignoring everything you tell themlet them have it!
22 Don't let them mock and humiliate me;
I've been careful to do just what you said.
23 While bad neighbors maliciously gossip about me,
I'm absorbed in pondering your wise counsel.

Jesus had a lot of this to deal with, on earth.  Here's what He said to the Scribes and Pharisees,
Matt 23:23-24
23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.  24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!"

So are we supposed to be super-saints who memorize the whole Bible and never do (admit we did) anything wrong?  Showing how intelligent we are and how our teeth sparkle?  Is it our goal to make people so envious they can't wait to become a Christian?  Nope.  It's not about appearance at all.  I think He looks closer at our hearts than our outward appearance and He knows all about our actions.  When I try and go it alone... gnats and camels everytime...  through Him, nothing is impossible.  Like the verse above says, the most important part of the law to God is justice, mercy, and faith.  And of course love.  Jesus asks us to come to Him as we are and be real with others, "neighbors." 
24 Yes, your sayings on life are what give me delight;
I listen to them as to good neighbors!


  1. Sigh. I have so much work to do. Especially the "love thy neighbor" thingy. :)

  2. I know what you mean. This year one of our neighbors was taken to the hospital and we all realized we didn't know her name!!? When she came home we all gave her our phone numbers. Geesh! Life has gotten complicated hasn't it? It's so easy to miss things. I think I want to try inviting neighbors over for dinner once a month. In New Jersey we pretty much stay to ourselves.