Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid… (Jonah 1:4-5).
The Law of Unintended Consequences.
I’m sure that Jonah wasn’t trying to put a bunch of pagan sailors in jeopardy.
I’m sure he wasn’t thinking about them at all.
He was just…running.
But when you run from God, when you deliberately put yourself outside of His will, stuff’s gonna happen. You put yourself and others in situations that God never intended for you. Sin is like a nuclear blast, with fallout that you can neither predict nor control.
Bottom line—your sin is not just your own. People can get hurt because of your disobedience.
Time for a heart check, Beloved. Are there areas in your life you need to fix, sins you need to confess, attitudes you need to repent of?
Because you know, people are getting wet.
Happy Friday, Beloved.
The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
But Jonah ran away from the Lord… (Jonah 1:1-3)
I talk a good game.
I say that I wish God would just be clear, tell me exactly what he wants of me.
You know what I’m talking about. You’re praying, asking for God’s guidance, and you get an answer. A full-blown, here’s-what-I-want-you-to-do-Kid sort of answer. You know it in your heart.
It’s not the answer you wanted.
In fact, it’s totally wrong.
So you run.
Oh, you may not hop a ship to Tarshish, but you run.
Why is it that when we say “Thy will…” we usually mean, “My will…?”
Beloved, as we head into Thursday, let’s try a little experiment.. Let’s pray that God would use us—no strings attached. However, wherever and with whomever he chooses. Let’s lay ourselves at his feet and await his command. And then let’s follow.
Yeah, I know it’s a scary concept, but we trust him.
Happy Thursday, Beloved.
…forever (Psalm 23:6).
For all the tomorrows that will ever be
Until the end of time and then past that
So far in the future that all moments up to now will seem like a blip
No, that’s a weak and stumbling attempt to describe a concept I can’t even imagine.
Maybe someday, when my soul gets the expansion pack, Michael 2.0 will be able to fathom the concept of forever. Until then, I will have to be content to wonder and praise.
The Lord is my Shepherd.
Happy Wednesday, Beloved
…and I will dwell in the house of the Lord… (Psalm 23:6).
Don’t let this part go by too fast.
I’ve read or heard this Psalm so many times that the end often goes by like movie credits. I see it, but I’m not really absorbing it.
Absorb this, Beloved.
We will live in God’s house.
I can’t even get my brain around exactly what that might mean.
Obviously, it means we will be with him, but in what capacity? Earlier in this Psalm we were talking about how God is treating David like an honored guest.
But this goes beyond that.
Guests–even honored guests–don’t live in your house.
That would be family.
God calls us family, and we will live with him forever.
Chew on that today, Beloved.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…(Psalm 23:6)
I need to know that God is good.
I need to know that God is merciful.
I need to know that those qualities will always be part of my relationship to him.
And praise God, he knows that I need to know.
Beloved, be thankful that these elements of his character will always be there, guiding and guarding and watching over us like…
Stalkers, but in a really good way.
A really, really good way.
Happy Monday, Beloved
…my cup overflows(Psalm 23:5).
Not just what I need.
So, we’re clearly not talking about my bank account here.
Instead, perhaps, we’re talking about greater things.
Things like my heart
If those things be full to overflowing, I’ll survive a skimpy paycheck.
Happy Friday, Beloved
You anoint my head with oil… (Psalm 23:5).
You will be the honored guest.
In Bible times, the honored guest had oil poured on his head to signify the esteem in which he was held.
Seems an odd way of showing respect, but there you go.
There are other kinds of anointing. For example, shepherds would anoint their sheep, pouring oil on the animals’ heads to prevent fly larvae from burrowing into the skin. So one could say, if one were so inclined, that this passage indicates God’s willingness to care for David, by, you know, keeping the maggots away.
There’s a picture for you.
I’m pretty sure that David was going for the first image. Still, whether the anointing is for honoring, or healing, or rejoicing, the Lord of the Universe has singled out David, and by extension us, for his care and attention.
Pretty amazing, when you think of it.
So think of it.
Happy Thursday, Beloved
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies (Psalm 23:5).
The Lord of the Universe brings you to the table, and you realize that the party is for you! He seats you at his right hand and tells all those gathered, “This is my child, my brother, my friend. I honor him. You mess with this one, you mess with me.”
Then he shoots a look across the room, to where your detractors are gathered.
It’s the same kind of look I shoot at my 7th graders when they’re being obnoxious, only it’s much better because he’s God and he does everything better than I do.
Come to the table, Beloved.
It’ll be fun.
your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4).
Because he is strong
and the very personification of power
I know that he can protect me.
Because he is good
and calls me his Beloved
I know that he will.
Happy Tuesday, Beloved
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me (Psalm 23:4).
God doesn’t just take us to the valley.
He takes us through.
And on the other side of the valley we will find the sun bright, and the tears gone, and the pain banished, and our souls breathing easily. And we will look to the One who loves us and rejoice in knowing that never once in all the darkness were we ever, even for a breath, alone.
The valley is deep, Beloved, and the shadows are dark, but he is with you.
And he will bring you through.
It’s Monday, Beloved.