Thursday, May 07, 2009

during difficult times

Yesterday was a difficult day for me, and really this week. Though Deb is a strong, good support, and we had a nice and fun time Tuesday evening. While good fellowship and working relationships remain, work has had its challenges for us. I have a couple friends who have cancer. And I've had challenges on a personal level.

I was thinking of these words from this psalm this morning:

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
In seeking to honor the newness of the new covenant, while acknowledging differences between the Old and New Testaments, I believe we sometimes draw false lines between the two. In this psalm is the fear of the Lord, and vows made to God. The former is just an intrinsic part of knowing God. God is a father, and a god of all grace, but he is not a god to be trifled with. His name and person (in three persons) should be held in reverence and awe. And vows today are replaced with our simple words. We should make commitments and carry them out.

That is important because we need to understand this prayer in context. We don't simply pray for a lifeline from God and then go on living our lives in our own ways, apart from God's will, in disobedience to him. And as we were reminded at my work in chapel yesterday, in our weaknesses we can find God's strength.

So it's important for us both to be those readily acknowledging our need to God, and committed to living in faithful obedience to God. We certainly will fail along the way, and that's where confession of sin and God's continued forgiveness to us in Christ comes in. But it is a mistake to believe that we can't live lives of faithful obedience to God. That can become a pattern of life for us, deviations from it being exceptions.

Does this make sense to you? What would you like to say here?


Mama K said...

yep, sounds like you've summed it up quite nicely. Hope today goes better for you. (But if every day were easy, would we ever think about and learn these vital truths?)

nannykim said...

Ted--thanks for your references to the sermon on my blog .., I listened to that message on lectio divina--it was good. I find I do a lot of reading of the Word and reading of books about the Word but I need to slow down and pray over it and meditate on it. And really spend time in the Lord's presence. Sharon's advice was good. Jack's sermon on the family table applied to this too.

I don't know if you have mentioned it, but what is your job?

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Mama K. Yes, today is going quite better. And you're right. We often learn best when in the fire, or in testing/trial.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I would do well to heed Sharon's advice in that message as well. I do in a way, though limited. And as she said somewhere, maybe in that message, it is quite a flexible practice. And yes, Jack's message, the one I think you're referring to, spoke to me powerfully.

I do factory work actually. I would like to get into editing (or maybe even writing). But am thankful for the work God has given me here. We take from the press the printed material and make booklets, putting them in containers to be mailed out from here or elsewhere.

Lanny said...

Very good point you made about that we can live lives in obedience to God.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks. I noticed I think that Washington has a tulip festival bigger than the one we have here in Holland, Michigan. Deb and I had a nice time there this week.

But yes. Obedience, and following God's will and not our own when they are differ at times. And I was just noticing in Jeremiah how God reprimanded some for stubbornly following their own desires instead of God's will. Even Jesus had to submit his will to the Father's by an act of sheer will out of love. But oh, to have the heart changed!