Plea for Grace – February 17, 2023

Counseling my soul on a Psalm 77 kind of day . . .

Psalm 77:1-20 ESV - 
1 I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. 
2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. 
3 When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah 

These are not the musings of a person in a "crisis of belief." He knows that God hears him. He knows God is true. But . . .he is tired. He is in pain. He doesn't have "all the feels"

4 You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 
5 I consider the days of old, the years long ago. 
6 I said, "Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart." Then my spirit made a diligent search: 
7 "Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? 
8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? 
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?" Selah 

The "feels" were there at one time. He has had those "mountaintop experiences." Now he is in a deep valley. He is remembering that there were easier days (though it seems like they were very long ago) and he asks the questions that match his current feelings. . . .

10 Then I said, "I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High." 
11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. 
12 I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. 
13 Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? 
14 You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. 
15 You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah 

Hallelujah! Asaph does not give in to his feelings! He remembers the truth. He remembers what he knows. He remembers Who he knows . . .

16 When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. 
17 The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side. 
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. 
19 Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. 
20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Imagine the authority and the power to speak and the clouds pour out rain. The ocean does not dare to disobey. The whole earth trembles at the might and power of God. And yet . . .
God's footprints were unseen . . .that's why "trusting my feelings" can be so disastrous. My feelings will lie -- all. the. time. 
God has never lied. God does not lie now. God will never lie. His Word is true. He will always follow through and fulfill His purpose. 

Are some days harder than others? Absolutely. Why did I say it's a "psalm 77 kind of day?" . . .
I haven't been sleeping well. My thyroid hormone levels have gone out of balance again and it is always a lesson in patience to find the new balance. Why have the hormone levels gone out of balance again? Not because I have "been bad" with my diet or anything else -- I have a progressive disease, and it is progressing . . .sigh . . .
I am quite frankly annoyed that I must routinely take nitroglycerin after a 5-minute shower. I used to be able to shower/dress/tidy the bathroom. Now it is shower/dress/nitro/rest . . .
My vision continues to be frustrating. Reading is exertion . . .seriously?? . . .

Is God being mean? Has He forgotten to be gracious? Has He decided to ignore my prayers?
Not. At. All. 
He has graciously (and I mean that earnestly -- it is undeserved) provided nitroglycerin to calm the spasms. The rest period required gives me time to pray and to review my memory work. There is less and less "pull" of "I should be doing . . ." because I really can't.

God has given me His Word to remind me that He is Immanuel. His steadfast love and faithfulness are everlasting. I don't have to "see" or "feel" to know that He is God and He will fulfill His purpose for me. 

Jesus said that . . .In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 ESV)  Your trouble/affliction/suffering may not look like mine, but the promises of God who "upholds all things by the word of his power" (Hebrews 1) are sufficient for us.

Thank You, gracious and loving Father, for Your Word, for Your adopting me into Your family, for Your constant presence. You are Holy and Great!

2 thoughts on “Plea for Grace – February 17, 2023

  1. Studying portions of the old testament this season and an constantly aware of the times God says, “Do this to remember.” Build a memorial, celebrate a festival, do this to remember.

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