Two different people e-mailed me Psalm 27 today.
Psalm 27: “An Exuberant Declaration of Faith.”
I love that. It makes me want to plead with the whole world, “Lift your voice! Scream faith and hope and love and God’s goodness until everything else inside of you–every fear and sorrow and doubt staring you in the face–sits down and shuts up and remembers its place- NOTHING is bigger than our God.”
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.
One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.
Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
I am staking my entire life right now on the words I find in scripture. I am demanding they be true. I am standing on promises the world would love for me to believe I’m taking too literally.
I am repenting for all the times I’ve agreed with the enemy about the character of God.
I am going through my life with my brain and heart guarded, protected. Everything I see and feel and hear and think I hold up to the light, I test it for traces of the voice of God. I refuse to meditate on fear or anger or doubt. I refuse to let my brain become a sifting place, a place that holds both faith and fear, a place where I weigh my fears for validity and examine my faith for holes. I refuse to let fear get that far. If it doesn’t sound like His voice, I refuse to hold it inside of me in any capacity.
I am staking my entire life on His being good, His being present, His having a plan.
“You’re taking this faith thing too far, you fool,” the enemy would love for me to believe. “Sometimes panic is the appropriate response. Sometimes the truth is that no, you are NOT going to be okay.”
I have spent years listening to that voice. I have spent years deciding I know best when hope is appropriate and when it’s foolish. But scripture says hope is ALWAYS appropriate. Faith is ALWAYS appropriate. And so I’m calling the enemy out, recognizing his voice, binding him from having influence in my life. I am standing firm, standing on my title as His child. I am a daughter of royalty. I am not a pawn of the enemy. I am not a victim of this life. I am treasured and adored and held.
I am staking my entire life on this. Everything, every single breath, I depend on Him for. I don’t think I’ve ever been more aware of that than I am right now, in this season.
And I thank Him. I thank Him when I wake up and depression doesn’t feel heavy on my shoulders, robbing me of life.
I thank Him that being out of work in this season means I can nap when I’m tired.
I thank Him when I can see glimmers of hope in areas of my life that once looked so decidedly hopeless.
I thank Him when the people in my life sound like Him, or love me in a way that reminds me of Him.
I thank Him when I feel excited for something. It has been so long since I’ve looked forward to my life.
And every single day I thank Him for Arlow. How often does He show up in my life-loving, me-loving pup? In his kind eyes and persistent joy and affinity for resting his head or paw on me?
Today Arlow sat at the front door and whined, looking at me with hope-filled eyes.
“I don’t waaaaant toooo,” I whined in response. I was in the same sweats I’d slept in. My hair was unbrushed. Absolutely no part of me wanted to leave the house.
But his eyes. The knowledge that I am his mama. I, alone, have the power and responsibility to give him a good life.
And, oh, the way he started bouncing around the house, tail wagging, when I relented and started putting my shoes on to go.
We stopped at Starbucks before making the fifty minute drive to our favorite dog park.
“He’s so beautiful!” the barista cooed, and then offered him a cup of whipped cream.
And I smiled while I watched him enjoy his treat and listened to the barista tell me how adorable my boy is. I would’ve missed out on that had we just stayed home.
And at the dog park, there were so many dogs there for him to play with. I was worried we’d be the only ones, which sometimes happens, but apparently all the PNWerners wanted to make sure not to waste this rare, sunny day.
And he ran and he played and we hiked. And the weather was perfect and the forest floor littered with the most beautiful colors of leaves, and the sun was coming through the trees in a way that made my heart smile.
And the longer we walked, the more alive I started to feel. The longer we walked, the more I found myself talking with my boy and smiling at him.
After a little over an hour, Arlow got tired and let me know he was ready to go. And as I drove away from the dog park I realized God used my boy today to help me reconnect with the simple joy of living.
He uses everything.
And this day? I’m still unemployed. I’m still battling some fiercely intense battles.
But I can see His hand all over it. The opportunity to rest, the strength to be productive (if only for a couple hours ;-)), and using Arlow to get me out of the house and under the big, blue sky.
These days, these looking for employment days, these waiting days, they are so much more to Him. My not being employed right now isn’t an oversight on His part. He has plans for me, to prosper and heal and guide and protect me, even while I wait.