Today’s Bible Study for me this morning, Psalm 124:
” 1 If the LORD had not been on our side—
let Israel say—
2 If the LORD had not been on our side (A)
when men attacked us, (B)
3 then they would have swallowed us alive
in their burning anger against us. (C)
4 Then the waters would have engulfed us;
the torrent would have swept over us;
5 the raging waters would have swept over us. (D)
6 Praise the LORD,
who has not let us be ripped apart by their teeth. (E)
7 We have escaped like a bird from the hunter’s net;
the net is torn, and we have escaped. (F)
8 Our help is in the name of the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth. (G)”
I’ve been enjoying Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent, Member Book, another delightful study from Beth Moore. This Psalm really speaks to me and the struggles of late. I’m the type of person who likes and gets along with most people, so when people are unkind to me or just plain spiteful, it is sort of the response as if a baby kitten had suddenly had a cup of milk from the counter fall on her head.
So, after spending the better part of two sitcoms with my face to the couch with tears in my eyes, I’m back upright blogging this for some strange reason, leaning against the wet cushion that has been my repose.
You know, I could have pity parties and whine about how I’m mistreated. But, as I was walking back to my classroom after lunch, I saw this Psalm clearly in my mind, then, I saw Jesus surrounded by the teachers of the law trying to find fault with him. He didn’t deserve it.
Beth says in the study on p 54:
“We must let God open our eyes to the reality that we have a powerful enemy who- let me say this clearly – absolutely hates us…
We who belong to Christ are not imagining that we have an enemy who hates us. We do. We also don’t have to wonder why. Satan hates us because God loves us…
The closest he can come to hurting God is to hurt one of His children.”
To me, the hardest thing to understand is pure, unadulterated hatred from another person. I know that I as a person am so far from perfect–I get so mad at my own faults — the way I forget things, the way I repeat myself, how I can get so focused on a task that I’m insensitive or just clueless to the needs of others. I’m a geek and use big words that scare people. I could go on. But, to me, every human on this earth is made by God and worthy of respect. I may not like them, but God loves them as equally as He loves me. He loves each of us.
But something stuck with me as the study moved over to Romans 8:28-39. She asked us to fill in the blanks as if these verses are a personal message to me and here is what I wrote based upon the passage of Romans:
My child, Vicki. (put your name there)
I will make sure all things work together for your good.
I will make you look like my Son, Jesus.
I will give you a calling, justify and glorify you.
I will always be for you as proven by the sacrifice of my Son.
I will make you more than a conqueror – you are made to triumph.
I will love you and nothing, ever, anywhere will ever keep me from loving you or separate you from my love.
So, today I was in an unguarded moment and misspoke and was quickly taken down for it both then and later. Besides beating up on myself, I was reminded and rebuked for my misstatement.
And so, I have been crying on the couch.
And yet, again, the part that stuck out was “justify and glorify you” which came from Romans 8:30:
“30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
I need to feel justified. Not justified in my feelings, but to know that somehow, someway, my God will justify me. I know in my heart that no ill intent was meant nor implied today. I feel like I should run and hide. Already I try to make myself NOT speak up every chance I can, however, God has called me and one day He will justify me. Really, I don’t want to be glorified and know that I don’t deserve it. But to be justified. To be accepted and loved for who I am by the God who made me. That is enough.
The biggest problem with me in this small town is that I am really pretty geeky. I don’t mean to be. So many times I’ve wished I could just fit in. But I don’t. I’m the pyramid that doesn’t fit in the round hole!
So, sometimes I have to cry about it. And yet, when I cry about it, I recall the last time I felt this down about being a geek. It was January 2000, the month before my hometown was struck by horrible tornadoes. When the tornadoes struck, I felt God tell me that he called me out for the purpose. He used my geekiness to do some technological things that really did benefit my hometown. It was one of the greatest joys of my life. I knew I was here for a reason. My husband and I staying and living here was justified. God was glorified, and yes, we were too in many ways.
So now, again, I’m feeling this horrible feeling of “why on earth am I here. I don’t fit in at all.” My heart is broken but it is OK. This is my version of Psalm 124 that is my comfort:
“Oh, God, If you hadn’t been on my side!
If you hadn’t been on my side, my God, when I was under attack
They would have eaten me alive in venomous hatred!
The water would have drowned me
I would have sunk and washed away in the flood.
Praise God! You saved me from their vicious bite!
You have freed me from the net of those who try to trap me.
Even when I am caught in their net-trap
See! The net is torn and I got away! Because of you!!!
My help is in your name, the name of the God who covenanted with me in His blood,
the maker of heaven and earth
and the One who saves me in countless ways from the roaring lion
who hates all God’s children!
Praise to the deliverer, my Deliverer, my God, my Christ!”
And there, I rest all of my hopes.