Making Sense of the Nonsense

Grief and anxiety can be so powerful that you can melt in the heat of their presence like a dip of ice cream on a 110-degree day.   When the trials and tragedies of life assault you, God can seem so distant that his voice is inaudible and His care and compassion inconspicuous.

When you feel like you’ve been bullied by misfortune or beaten down by fickle friends, you can be blinded by a pervasive sense of loneliness and a warped perspective on life.  This was the case with Asaph when he wrote Psalm 73:

My feet almost slipped; my feet almost slid out from under me. For I envied those who are proud, as I observed the prosperity of the wicked. For they suffer no pain. . . They mock and say evil things; they proudly threaten violence. They speak as if they rule in heaven, and lay claim to the earth.

Whenever you find that you are walking down a path of misery, you need to re-calibrate your compass.  Instead of focusing primarily on your internals, you need to take an eternal perspective on life.  This is how Asaph began to reorient his direction in life: When I tried to make sense of all this nonsense, it was troubling to me. When I finally looked beyond myself, and I quit beating myself down. I looked up to God and I entered His temple, and then I understood the destiny of the wicked (my paraphrase of Psalm 73:16-17)

“Sometimes God gives us a gentle push of courage; sometimes He mercifully numbs us so we don’t experience the full intensity of our pain; at other times He carries us when we cannot take another step on our own (Bruce Carroll, Sometimes Miracles Hide).”

You may be feeling the mental or physical pain of lingering bruises from being abused, misused, or falsely accused; if so, I hope you find comfort in the reassuring words of Psalm 121:

I look up at the vast size of the mountains—from where will my help come in times of trouble? The Eternal Creator of heaven and earth and these mountains will send the help I need. He holds you firmly in place; He will not let you fall. He who keeps you will never take His eyes off you and never drift off to sleep. What a relief! The One who watches over Israel never leaves for rest or sleep. The Eternal keeps you safe, so close to Him that His shadow is a cooling shade to you. Neither bright light of sun nor dim light of moon will harm you. The Eternal will keep you safe from all of life’s evils, from your first breath to the last breath you breathe, from this day and forever. ~The Voice

bagpiper_playing_frontWith all that is happening in the world in general and in the Ukraine in particular, I thought I’d post this old Scottish blessing.

If there is righteousness in the heart
If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
So let it be
–Scottish Blessing