As I was walking back from Homecoming chapel in Lucky Gym, I was pondering the Word brought by Pastor Kevin Myers. Remember his text? Jesus and the disciples in the boat during the storm. I simply thought about all the folks I know on campus; faculty, staff, and students who need to hear a simple trusting word that Jesus is alive and well; even in our times of trials. My word to you today is simple; do not avoid God because you are disappointed. Run to Him for the very same reason. Use the scriptures as a window into the very nature of God Himself and into your darkest moment. I promise you something; He will meet you right there.
One particular passage comes to mind; Psalm 23, which you probably know only too well…but read it slowly for a moment:
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Two simple observations. First, notice the change in personal pronouns in the first three lines, they are all third person (he, he, he, his, etc). It is as if this is more of a confession or declaration; talking about God rather than talking to Him. But notice the change that takes place in line four, “Even though I walk through the valley of death, YOU are with me.” (look at all the second person pronouns). Can you sense this is a change from a general confession of who God is to a true experience of the Holy One personally? And when does this take place, “in the valley of death” not when life is at a touchy-feely good time. No, God is most real and most personally present when life is most trying. Second observation, where does God prepare the table? In the most quiet restful spot? No, He prepares a table in the presence of your enemies. And “Your enemies” need not be translated as a person; but God prepares a table for you in the presence of your most revealing fears and anxieties. (Can you name your worst fears at this moment?) Why? Because He wants to demonstrate Himself to be more powerful than any fear or temptation which you will ever face!
So, my friends, if you feel as if you are abandoned by God right now; it is right now that God wants to make Himself the most real. Truthfully, I do not want to serve a God who only “works” when life is good. I want to follow a God who works when life is the most trying. I sincerely believe that the Lord God Yahweh is on the border of revealing Himself to you in a way that He never has before. Be honest with God in prayer. Let Him meet you right where you are…and buckle up, for you are about to meet the real God, the Holy One of Israel, who more than likely will bow down and wash your feet (check out John 13). So if in the next few days, your socks and shoes feel a bit soggy; it’s because Christ is in your midst.
In the midst of our unsettled semester
In the middle of life’s
In the eye of the storm,
Give us Yourself.
We do not need
calm if we have You.
Now; Go with God