“I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalms 16:7-8
“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalms 16:11
Yesterday I spent some time in Psalms 16 and found comfort there. Several things in this Psalm spoke truth and blessing into my life:
- Apart from You I have no good thing – all comes from You (v2)
- I delight in the Saints who are in the land – and in those who are in heaven (v3)
- I will not honor other gods – especially the god I sometimes make of myself (v4)
- You have given me life – and all it entails (v5 & 6)
- You counsel me and teach me even at night (v7)
- You are at my right hand and I am at Your right hand (v8, v11)
- I am glad, I rejoice, I feel secure (v8 & 9)
- You will not leave me in the grave – I look for resurrection (v10)
- You show me the way and fill me with joy in Your presence (v11)
The thought that most blessed me is found in the two verses at the beginning of this Gleaning. I realized that if ‘he is at my right hand’ and if I have ‘eternal pleasures at your right hand’, we have to be in a very intimate posture – we have to be face-to-face! As I thought about this posture I thought about some of my tendencies as I’ve faced grief. So often I want to isolate myself and try to ‘get over’ this sorrow before I enter into life. Something that my husband Steve shared with me back in February came to mind also. With his permission, I’ll share some of that with you. During this particular time Steve was at the annual Pastor’s Prayer Summit and I was at Jacob and Becky’s place loving on Jake and the kids. The following is from Steve’s Summit journal.
“We meditated on John 21 on Tuesday — where Jesus met the disciples as they fished on Galilee after the resurrection. When they realized it was Jesus on shore, Peter jumped out of the boat and raced toward Jesus. That started a thought process in me about moving toward Jesus. Peter was in a place of shame and guilt — and the tendency in such places is to avoid Jesus or move away from Him. But Peter moved toward Jesus in his shame and Jesus met him there.
The Hebrews writer says that we should “Run the race with perseverance that is set before us … fixing our eyes on Jesus.” (Hebrews 12:2) The only way to run with eyes fixed on Jesus is to run toward Him. I’m in a place of deep grief, and the inclination is to want to be alone — to isolate myself, even from the Lord. But that is the wrong response — I need to move toward Jesus in my grief.
In a place of anger — we are tempted to move away from the one with whom we are angry. But if we are angry with the Lord, we should move toward Him. Like the woman in the movie who is angry with her husband and stands in front of him and beats on his chest. When she has spent her anger, her husband puts his arms around her and her anger melts in his embrace of love. We move toward Jesus with our anger and express it to Him and when our anger is spent, we find Him putting His arms around us and our anger melts in His embrace of love.
In weariness and burden we are to move toward Jesus. “Come to Me all who are weary and burdened.” When we are discouraged and frustrated and hurt — we are to move toward Jesus.
In good times — move toward Jesus. In bad times — move toward Jesus. It’s not natural. It is not what we are inclined to do. But by choice — as an act of faith — we move toward Jesus. And as we move toward Him, He meets us and helps us work through what we are dealing with. “
Oh Lord – thank You that Your face is toward me . . . always! Thank You that You wait for me to turn my face toward You. Your love is amazing!!
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18