Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Talking Psalms 107/108

Psalm 107:26-30 (NLT)

Their ships were tossed to the heavens
and plunged again to the depths;
the sailors cringed in terror.

Have you sailed the seas of your life on a similar ship? I think we all have faced storms that toss and plunge and torment us until we are barely able to hang on.

They reeled and staggered like drunkards
and were at their wits’ end.

Does that sailor's uniform fit you? Yes, indeed, it used to be just my size. Although I gave my life to the Lord, I had wrongfully held back bits and pieces, some knowingly because I misjudged His capacity to handle my sins. And in doing so, I cringed and reeled and staggered. And I was most definitely at my wit's ends.

“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.

These sailors finally hollered out to God, the one captain who could see them through the raging seas and rocking vessel. Why did they wait until the point of near-destruction to yield their ways to God and His ways?

He calmed the storm to a whisper
and stilled the waves.

Perhaps it was so that God's greatness would be magnified in His contrast. His gentle, loving calm, settled the destructive waters.

What a blessing was that stillness
as he brought them safely into harbor!

Have you felt your rollicking ship stop lurching and tossing you against the splintered rails? If not, call out to God. He will reach out, hold you, and comfort you until the waves quiet and your soul meets Him in placid stillness. He needs your full attention. He needs your full heart. He needs you to meet Him in the very place where He calms the storm.

Psalm 108:1-4 (NLT)

My heart is confident in you, O God;
no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart!

What about this? Isn't this the sort of cruise you would like to take?

Wake up, lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn with my song.

You bring on the morning with your singing. Because of the Lord's mercy, you chase the darkness away by shouting His praises.

I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.

And then you keep singing His glorious, redemptive song. All the day long. And loud enough for all the other sailors to hear.

For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

This ship is right on course. This ship not only gently sails on the waters of life, but it gives you ample opportunities to touch the clouds.

Friends, when we have suffered storms and our very souls seem scattered to the wind and our hearts feel as though they are battered beyond repair, hand tight to God. Once you have a firm grip, let go. Not of His hand, but of the things that storm within.

Toss the fear, guilt, shame, burdens, regret, and remorse. Toss them right over the edge.

Now ease into God's grace and mercy and love. He will take those items which you tossed overboard and He will sink them deeper than the bowels of the raging sea. You are now free!

Do not cling to that railing while you search for what has been removed from you. Turn to Him with your whole self! Give Him your hands, your heart, your mind. God will fill you up with all that you need. He will heal your broken heart and He will renew your muddled mind. Remember that God's Truth reaches to the clouds.

It also reaches right into your very soul.

Let us humbly pray:
Father God, let all those saying this prayer with me feel Your lovingkindness and Your mercy. While we suffer and struggle as the storms toss us about and ravage our souls, come into our midst to calm the seas. Touch us with Your stillness and in doing so, let us be renewed in You. Give us all that we need to find You and cling to You. Be our stillness. Be our life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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