Wednesday Word 8.29.2018

Psalm 84:1-12

1 How lovely is your dwelling place Lord Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young— a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house, they are ever praising you.
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob.
9 Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield, the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
12 Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.

The journey can be long and arduous. It can be lonely and fraught with fear and pain. I keep thinking about that song I used to hear my mother singing, “You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley,” she would sing (“Lonesome Valley,” written by Woody Guthrie). It reminded us that we have to walk it by ourselves and that nobody can walk our path for us. You and I are responsible for the steps we take or don’t take; for the choices we make each day. There will be circumstances and happenings beyond our control, but that is irrelevant. We still must choose our next step in response to the world.

Have you ever been on a trip to unfamiliar territory and gotten lost? I mean in the pre-GPS days, when the map in your hand didn’t show the road you were traveling and there were no signs in sight. There’s that panicky feeling that you may be heading into danger, a vague sense of foreboding. I cannot imagine living my life with that feeling. We all get confused sometimes.  The decisions are often tough. Facing the hard parts of life can take a great toll. Nevertheless, we must move forward.

“Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you,” this pilgrim psalmist says. What a difference it makes to travel when you know where you are going! When I try to navigate on my own, I am lost. What I need is GPS – “God Positioning System!” I need my Lord and Savior to chart my path. I need to rely on God to see me through; never alone, never lost. The obstacles will still arise, but I know who is waiting for me with grace and mercy.  We must let God show us the way…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki