Saturday, July 18, 2009

Psalm 93

Do you know what I was hoping for today? One of the many Psalms that had us "crying to God in worry and in hope." In fact, I wanted an excuse this morning to apologize for not being more prompt with these devotions.

It's been a long summer ... and much longer for Mary Louise than for me. Healing takes a toll on the body, setbacks take a toll on the psyche, and all the options and decisions take a toll on the mind. We've been blessed. We've received mostly good news (including and especially "no need for chemo"). But it's tiring. Therefore, yes, I was looking forward to one of the many Psalms that had us crying to God in worry and in hope. It would have been easy to write on today.

What did I get instead?

Something better.

Psalm 93 is a wonderful reminder that 1) I don't have to be in change and 2) the one who is in charge is "4 might[y]," "5 hol[y]," and "2 everlasting." Chris Tomlin's song "How Great is Our God" begins with echoes of this Psalm's beginning. When Chris Tomlin and the Psalmist sing essentially, "The splendor of a King, '1 [Clothed] in majesty.' Let all the earth rejoice, All the earth rejoice," I am reminded that cancer is small and "the world ... cannot be shaken" and I need to rejoice.

Let me say that again. When I says that "I need to rejoice," I don't mean that I simply "ought" to rejoice -- even though I surely ought to. But I NEED to. I need to focus above the cancer, above "3 the mighty oceans," above the "4 raging of the seas," above the "3 thunder" in the skies, and discover ... again ... daily ... "4 the Lord who is mightier than these."

In last Sunday's sermon we recalled a recurrent New Testament theme that led to our old Lutheran Confession: "We confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean." This Psalm reminds us of the antidote to our brokeness: "5 The nature of your reign, O LORD, is holiness forever"

(For our nature see Joh 2:25 - Ro 1:20 - Ro 7:5 - Ro 7:18 - Ro 7:25 - Rom 8:1-9 [Show Context] - Ro 8:12 - Ro 9:5 - Ro 11:24 - 1Co 5:5 - Gal 5:13-19 [Show Context] - Ga 5:24 - Eph 2:3 - Eph 4:22-24 [Show Context] - Col 2:11-13 [Show Context] - Col 3:9-10 [Show Context] -- for God's nature see also Ro 1:20 - Show Context)

Our nature is broken and sinful, cancer-ridden and sick, angry and addicted, prideful and judgmental. If there is to be any hope, we must look up! "5 The nature of your reign, O LORD, is holiness forever." "Let all the earth rejoice, All the earth rejoice!"

Gracious Lord,
thank you for taking care of me, my wife, and my family
through this journey of illness and uncertainty.
I thank you for a wife that constantly looks up.
Her spirit buoys mine.
Keep me ever pointed upward
and save me from any worries, brokenness, or sin.