Thursday, October 9, 2014

31 Psalms That Meet Me in the Mess - The Struggle is Real

...we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. - Psalm 66:12

I've mentioned before that it is too easy sometimes to just brush over certain scriptures, especially if you grew up a church kid.  You've heard some of these phrases so many times that they become cliche.  Like a biblical know...the stuff Christians like.

I was lost, but then I was found.  

I've been saved.

God is your ever-present help in times of trouble.

I get it.  I was born into a Catholic home, switched to Pentecostal Holiness in elementary school with a little Methodist thrown in every other weekend, and finally made an adult decision in high school to settle with non-denominational.  That is, until I became a member of a Southern Baptist Church about three years ago.  (I'm not as big on denominations as I am the community of the church, but more on that another day.)  My point is, that I've heard it all.  I grew up a church kid.

Psalm 66:12 is a gem of scripture that required me to take a second look.  Dig a little deeper.  Stop to meditate on it.  Make it real.

We went through fire and water?  A visual just hit me like a ton of bricks.  

How many times during my separation from my husband did I feel like I was drowning?  How many times did I feel like I had been burned beyond repair?

Have you ever lost yourself somehow in the ocean or a swimming pool?  That realization that you can't breathe is terrifying.  Being fully conscious of your surroundings (either the thrashing of waves, or the laughter of others splashing nearby), but knowing that you will soon lose that consciousness if someone doesn't come to your aid.

Have you ever been burned?  I've only suffered small burns from cooking and clumsily lighting candles and such, but I can only imagine in my mind what it would be like to be trapped and suffering inside a burning building.  I can only imagine it would be a place of terror and hopelessness like drowning. 

This is what the author of Psalm 66 is visualizing as he gives open praise to God about his salvation.  He's endured unspeakable trials.  He has walked through horrible, awful phases of life. 

And yet, it says, "but you brought us to a place of abundance."  *Deep Breath*  Now that hits me like a ton of bricks as well.

He guides us down these breath-holding, gut-wrenching paths with strength and gentleness, and walks us out into a clearing of abundance.

Real life is no fairy-tale.  Infertility, infidelity, and chronic illness are not things that we deal with flippantly.  The struggle is real.  Thank God, we have one who will never, ever, ever, ever leave our side.  And He's not just there for emotional support, either.  He works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).

If your struggle is so very real today, I would like to pray for you.

Lord, your grace is the single most adored gift we have ever been given.  We thank you for the enormous blessings of this life that you have given.  But life here in this foreign land can also be really, really hard.  You know our struggle is real, Lord.  Please give us supernatural strength to endure and thrive.  Please give us wisdom at every crossroads we come to in this place of darkness.  We thank you and love you.  It is in your precious son's name that we live and move and have our very being.  Amen.

Want to read more from this series 31 Psalms That Meet Me in the Mess?  Click Here for a complete listing of daily posts!