FIRST-PERSON: An unexpected spiritual balm
I was meditating and journaling about Psalm 11 and, upon finishing, I felt as if the most soothing spiritual ointment had reached down to my itchy, achy soul to bring comfort and relief.
Interestingly, I didn't even know I needed to be comforted in such a way, as everything in my life and family had been going great -- meaning, dealing with the daily mundane.
However, I also had become burdened and discouraged by the ramping wickedness in this world, especially recent deconversion stories of “former Christians” and the folly of quarrels in social media among “Christians.” In fact, I had recently taken a break from social media because I just couldn't bear one more deconstruction story or another epic clash amongst “Christians.”
So there I was the other day, sitting on my couch, doing my quiet time couch and meditating on Psalm 11, especially verses 3-11:
“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them. The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates. On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face."
This part stood out from the psalm so I proceeded to inquire about the context and how it applied to me on that day.
The first part of the psalm (v. 1-2) convey that when David encountered significant danger, at one point, he was advised to escape from his enemies. Instead, he chose to trust the Lord and take refuge in Him, for he was certain that even when the foundations of life are torn down, those who have a relationship with the Lord will find shelter in Him. Since David knew God’s unchanging character and His righteousness, he was assured he need not to worry, for God takes care of those who practice righteousness -- those who decide to make the right choices and portray godly attitudes in life. David was also convinced that God will do justice to those who do the opposite in His predetermined time.
This passage reminds us that even when it seems that the unrighteous are getting away with their wicked ways, we can rest knowing that God is in control, for He will bring order and justice when He best seems fitting.
We are also reminded that God is already working “examining the righteous and the wicked” and that it is really not our role to worry and get caught up in the negativity and unrighteousness.
Moreover, just because we think something is out control, in God’s realm and time, it may not be. The devil is defeated, God is actively working, and His plans will be fulfilled.
So what should we do when we are tempted to become overwhelmed upon hearing conflicting news? We could ponder in His Word and meditate in His goodness, righteousness and in His perfect will? We must choose to be overwhelmed by His love, mercy and grace, so much so that we can be a blessing to others. As a result, we will show others God’s peace and hope that we are able to experience in Him.
As unexpected spiritual balm, I hope and pray it can be that for you as well.