A simple message today.
A few nights ago, I was reading Psalm 68, where lies a verse that has a great meaning for me. I came upon it several years back, when I was living alone. My kids were with their mom and I was barely able to keep a roof over my head. I was working a second job cleaning as much out of killing a few more hours till sleep as for the extra gas money. I had a Church but was really not connecting the way I should have been. And in Psalm 68, I found a promise that seemed awfully far away...
Verse 8. "God sets the solitary in families."
And the night I read that again, it struck me just how much God kept His promises. I have Laurie. A better job. A grandchild! And of course Scrappy. The verse goes on: "...He brings out those who are bound into prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a dry land." I was bound, for real. Being a Christian but surely not living it all that well. I had runes around my room, my hope for a break in the week rested on the largesse of a buddy who drug me along on his strip club adventures.
Didn't see the connection between my dry land and my rebellion.
At times, I was as close to God as I have ever been, before or since. But that was because of how far I had strayed, and how lost from the sheepfold I was.
And now? This is a promise that God has fulfilled. Am I changed? I've made progress, but in God's eyes (or maybe just mine), it's the progress of an ant on a round the world trek. God is not faithful because of us, He is faithful IN SPITE of us.
And when I read that verse again, I thought of my life verse, 1 Samuel 7:12: "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Eben-Ezer, saying, "Thus far the Lord has helped us"; and realized once again that I was looking back at a stone set up because the Lord had helped me.
Do you know what Mizpah and Shen mean? Well, yeah, they are place names, but if you track them back a step farther, the stone set up was between "the watchtower" and "the crag." I am continually on my journey from the crag to the watchtower. And once again, I am reminded of all the stones I have set up along the road.