One of my favorite parts of this job is having the opportunity to tell others about our ministry partners. One way I can do that is to share their writings on our blog page. First up is our new partner Scott Moore with Trinity Family Ministries in Mobile, AL. You might remember him from our February Journey newsletter. Scott published this blog on Trinity’s website (trinityfam.org) on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. – Danny
When the Lord Hides Where Do We Turn?
Whatever the Psalmist’s trouble (Psalm 77), it was such that his soul refused to be comforted (v.2). It was night and not day – dark and not light. Remembering God brought moaning rather than laughing, fainting rather than dancing (v.3). It was as if the Lord had forgotten his promises. The God who had always assured his people of his covenant presence was seemingly absent and nonexistent.
His present situation was bleak and was unlike the past when he was comforted, energized and encouraged by the presence of the Lord. This day of trouble could not be pacified and his pain could not be satisfied with any earthly thing. This person was staring the theological reality straight in the face, that the Lord is the only true satisfaction in life. If the Lord is either absent or nonexistent, the people of God might as well die. Their life is the most miserable in all the earth.
It is all to common to have experiential back-up plans. If the Lord is not positively stirring us, we have other places to turn. We have other comforts in this life. This is my testimony at least.
When I don’t want to pray; when I feel empty, tired, and sick of evaluating every moment as if it had eternal significance; when I feel unaccepted by others, rejected, unworthy, and ontologically inferior because of my special, but wicked, vises; and when I just don’t feel as if God is real, beneficial, or there; I immediately run to dozens of other saviors like my phone, work, coffee, sleep, Facebook, a friend’s company, a book, my kids or even my wife.
If the Lord hides, I go elsewhere. I have very little patience for emptiness. I have little tolerance for someone else’s will.
This moment in the Psalmists life is probably very similar, except he had no comforts at all. There were not dozens of saviors. There was only one or none; either the Lord or death; only the Light of the World or darkness. He did not run elsewhere, but waited. While he moaned, he meditated. And while he wept, he remembered.
I am not so sure I have the strength for this. The Lord is gracious to help me see my sickness and weakness in this area. I thought that once I kicked porn, I would be done with sin. But he has shown me more of my wickedness in my unwillingness to wait submissively and patiently for his bidding. I have loved him on my terms and not his own. Consequently I have “loved” others on my own selfish terms as well.
This sin is worse than lust. Selfishness gives birth to that which I thought most evil. I am noticing it in everything I do. I am therefore, at a place where all I know is to trust the passive righteousness of Christ while I pray for his power to work and rescue. I am sick of books. I am tired of lectures. I have been reduced to seeking the Lord alone, and he seems at the moment, silent.
This morning, however, I am encouraged to wait patiently for the Lord while I remember his marvelous works. If he has been faithful for thousands of years, and if his steadfast love has been witnessed by tens of thousands of believers, I trust that he will accomplish his good purposes for me. I trust, because of his Word, that while I am empty now, he will fill me. I trust that while my soul refuses to be comforted, and as he empowers me to loose my hands from all worldly comforts, he will visit me, save me, love me, redeem me, and one day glorify me.
And after I reread this post to check for errors, I noticed that he is not far at all. He has loved me behind me. He has embraced me from an angle I was not expecting. He has loved me on his terms. And for this I am grateful.