Friday, November 12, 2010

Never Forsaken, Always Fed

This past week I found myself fretting about money. Again. Almost two years ago, I stopped working after being laid-off. My husband and I felt at the time that the Lord was leading me to stay home with my two daughters who are now five and three years old. To say the Lord has blessed the decision would be an understatement. Not only has He had provided for us financially, He has revealed more of Himself to us in the process, which is the wonderful benefit of obedience. Every time we obey the Lord according to His Word, we see more of Him manifested in our lives.

So, even though the Lord has been faithful, I still found myself in a weak moment fussing around the kitchen worrying about how we were going to pay this bill and that bill. As I reeled my hectic and fearful thoughts back to God and His sovereignty, He brought Psalm 37 to my mind, “I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed.”

This psalm was composed by David and addresses the issue of why the wicked prosper in this life and the righteous suffer, which is a repeated theme in the Bible. The Lord makes it clear that although the wicked enjoy great prosperity for a season, their felicity is momentary and evanescent. In other words, it is temporal and it will end in destruction and divine judgment because they have rejected God and abused His bounty and paternal goodness.

In contrast, the pious and devoted servants of God never cease to be happy, even in the midst of their greatest calamities, because God takes care of them, and comes to their aid in due season. Admittedly, this appears to be paradoxical in nature and in opposition to human reasoning but as you look deeper, you realize that God is trying to pull our thoughts off of the temporal and focus us on the eternal. By moving our attention to the spiritual realm, this psalm invites us to lay hold of the providence of God, as He stretches forth His hand to help those who are His servants while quietly reminding us of the ultimate end of the wicked.

In Ecclesiastes chapter three, the Lord says that He has “put eternity in the hearts of men.” God has put the things of eternity in our hearts as believers so we will not lose focus and grow faint and weary in well-doing. It is there as a source of comfort because we know that one day we will see Jesus. We will see Jesus! And if our focus is centered on Him, then the things of this world really do grow strangely dim as the great song, “Turn You Eyes upon Jesus” states in its chorus.

I have found in my own life that I begin to despair when I lose eternal focus. The temporal world is hard at times, isn’t it? Between mortgage payments, car payments, school tuitions, health concerns, marital problems, etc., we have a lot on our plates to deal with on a daily basis, but the Lord is always trying to pull us away from those temporal things unto Himself.

It is at His feet, in His presence, within the pages of His Word that we find our fulfillment and purpose. And still, He understands we are frail and but dust. So, when we fret about unpaid bills in the kitchen, worry about lay-offs at work, or agonize about a crumbling marriage at 2:00 a.m., He tells us all we really need to know and believe, “I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.”

"Be content with such things as you have. For He Himself [God] has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So we may boldly say: 'The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'" (Hebrews 13:5-6)


Heidi said...

Thank you thank you thank you for this post! I needed it!

Anne Marie Donadio said...

Thank you for your comment and for letting me know that the blog was a blessing to your life! What an encouragement. I pray much for this blog and that it would minister to others as the Lord directs.