Thursday, May 22, 2014

When you need the sun . . .

Darkness had shredded the light and seemed to encase the whole situation in a shroud.

I couldn’t take my eyes off how bleak everything looked--how hopeless and how helpless I felt.

Then I read these words once uttered by that great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, more than 100 years ago:

“If some dark providence has beclouded thee, use thy God as a “sun”; if some strong enemy has beset thee, find in Jehovah a “shield”; for He is a sun and a shield to His people. If thou hast lost thy way in the mazes of life, use Him as a “guide’’ for He will direct thee. Whatever thou art, and wherever thou art, remember God is just what thou wantest, and just where thou wantest and that He can do all thou wantest!”

Where were those verses about God being a sun and a shield?

I found them in Psalm 84, that favorite of Psalms penned by David. The one that begins with the words Brahams put to such beautiful music, “How lovely is thy dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts . . .  .

David longs to be in the courts of the Lord and seems to envy even the birds who have built their nests there. The image of passing through the valley of weeping and making it a place of springs always speaks to my heart. Then, one of my favorite verses in the whole Bible, “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere . . ." Next we read:

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
    from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11

Before I leave Bible Gateway, I click over to The Message translations of these verses:

All sunshine and sovereign is God,
    generous in gifts and glory.
He doesn’t scrimp with his traveling companions.
    It’s smooth sailing all the way with God-of-the-Angel-Armies. Psalm 84:11 The Message

The shroud seems to lift as I ponder how God is a “sun” in the current vexing situation. I latch onto Peterson’s translation that I am God’s “traveling companion,” and I don’t feel so alone in this mess. I pray for faith to believe that God can as Spurgeon says do “all I want.”

The eyes of my heart, which before only saw inky shadows, now see the sun of God’s light shafts, and I have hope again for all that he will do.

“For the Lord God is a sun . . .”

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