Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Not Time But Christ

     This past week, a fellow pilgrim who posted a good deal on Facebook was suddenly taken home by the Lord.  I had just replied to one of his great Christian quotations the day before.  While I did not know him in person, I knew his heart belonged to our Savior, and it was always a blessing to read the things he took time to write.  One never knows the hour when Christ will call him home.  For the one who goes home to the celestial city, it is great joy, but for those left behind, it is often a difficult path to walk.
     As I discussed this with a friend, she reminded me that it is not time which heals a broken heart but Christ is the only one who can do this.  What good words of wisdom!  Certainly, time dims the shock and utter despair we feel when we lose someone or face painful circumstances, but the true peace which passes all understanding only comes when we give our hurt to the Lord and leave it there.
     My mother, during her deepest and darkest days after losing my baby sister Rebecca, often turned to the Psalms for comfort.  She taught me to do the same and to pray them at times when no other words would come.  When we look into the Psalms, we see where King David and others gathered their strength during the trials of life.  After all, who knew better than David the disappointments and pain of life.
     While we do not know specifically what Psalms he wrote when his own son Absalom rose up in rebellion and sought his life, there has been speculation that Psalm 63 or 141 might have been penned at this time.  However, David also had to flee King Saul for many years though he had done him no wrong.  Whether it was King Saul or his son Absalom, David turned to God for hope, healing and help.  In Psalm 63:1-8, we read:  "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for you as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary, beholding Your power and glory.  Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You.  So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your name I will lift up my hands.  My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips, when I remember You upon my bed, and meditate on You in the watches of the night; for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy."
     When we look at this passage of Scripture, we see David seeking and thirsting after God.  He runs into His shelter when life is less than perfect.  How often do we do this?  Many times we try to cover our pain with work or a busy schedule.  Then, we think we won't have time to think about our situation.  David, in contrast, runs to the Lord.  He lifts up praise to Him instead of wallowing in sorrow.  For David, God is his refuge, his strength, his defender and his redeemer.  Despite his failures, sins and weaknesses, God called him a man after His own heart.
     Like David, we often come to dry and weary times in our lives.  There is no mystery in this for we live in a fallen world.  Yet, we need to find, as David did, the joy of the Lord so that we can go on living.  If we fail to give our burdens to the Lord and allow Christ to heal us, our relationships suffer along with all else we attempt.  David knew this and set down in the Psalms, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, words of comfort for us to meditate on by God's design.
     As I reflect on the words of my friend, I have to agree that it is not time but Christ alone that brings healing to the hurting.  He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us, and as Psalm 23 reminds us "even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil for He is with us" (my paraphrase).  May we be quick to run to our heavenly Father in all the challenges of life and may God grant peace to those with a broken heart.  Selah!

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