How precious is your steadfast love, O God!

The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Psalm 36: 7

 

It often seems as if values and principles, the moral and ethical framework and foundation of our culture, are changing very rapidly. This old-fashioned word, steadfast, is not really a part of the current cultural vocabulary. People do not stick to or with much of anything for very long, either. Although this lack of commitment to people and to values may feel like a modern phenomenon, a look at history shows that it has its roots in that long-ago garden and the desire on the parts of our earliest ancestors to be their own god. Over time people have just continued the progression of our movement away from the God of Creation and into our own self-defined god of personal convenience.

 

Based upon the evidence at hand, this effort to devise a better way to live than the narrowly defined one that God gives to us does not appear to be working so well today. Beliefs and actions that caused separation and death in those earliest of days are still bringing about the same results now. Our world is just better equipped to accomplish both of these ends. We live in a time of angry days. Individuals, groups of people, and nations are saturated in forms of fear and rage that are released in violence toward each other and that have no effectual resolution. It would appear that the only valid response to it all is self-protection and greater violence in return.

 

Yet that is not what God gives to us, and it is certainly not what He calls upon us to do. The Lord God has more right to be angry and upset over our way of living than does anyone else or any other group of people. All of our fear, anger, and violent discord are fundamentally directed at Him and are carried out in violation of His will and His Word. Still, the Lord remains true to His commitment to love all people for all time. The love of Christ stands today as the only valid answer that we have for the world in which we live. We can stand solidly today in the security of that love, and its protection, comfort, and counsel are the legacy that we can provide to our children and to all who follow after us. So, today, O Lord, I stand under the great shadow of your unceasing love and desire to pour Your redemptive truth out upon this wounded world where I live.

But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.

Psalm 73: 28

 

When life becomes distilled to its essence, and all of the activity, interests, and everything that I have been involved in is put into perspective, there is only one aspect of it all that comes out on top, and that is God’s relationship with me. This is the starting point for all that has been worthy in life. He is the foundation for what ability I have had to be loving, and the Lord has granted me the strength that I have needed to get through it all and the protection and the encouragement that I need when it all is too hard to handle.

 

Much of God’s great gift to me can be measured in people, for He has placed me into His human family of spirit-linked individuals. They surround me with their love, honesty, and understanding; additionally, the Lord has blessed me with my family and with their loving acceptance and constant affection. It is important that I recognize, understand, and appreciate the loving gift that God has given to me in the people who are the human touch of His hand in my life.

 

Thus, everywhere I go and in all the circumstances that I may find myself, my Lord is with me in a deeply personal and completely involved way. It is from this place of security that my life can speak out with the joy and the peace of someone who knows what matters and understands why this is true, and it is through my life that the Lord speaks to others of their need for refuge in Him. God has designed us so that as we engage with our world in loving care and encouragement, we are also loved and encouraged. Then as we are strengthened and renewed we are ready to continue to bless the lives of others in Christ’s name.

“I will feed my flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord God.

Ezekiel 34: 15

 

No matter how far we may have wandered and regardless of the cause of our misfortune God always comes looking for us. The needs that we have are more real to Him than they are even to us. The Lord knows the state of our hearts, and He feels the anxiety of our minds. Christ knows us from the inside, and He understands the nature and the substance of our needs intimately. I have found amazing relief from stress in simply recognizing this fact; simply turning to God with the overwhelming challenge of the moment and resting on the truth that for all of history He has consistently met the needs of His children, and throughout my own history, the same has been true for me.

 

Through my relationship with Christ, I have found an imperishable source of food for my soul, and I have a real and tangible place to put my feet. I know that God’s truths and His perspective will always be the same and that they are correct in every circumstance. Even when I go off onto the worst of tangents and try to create my own, alternate truths, Jesus brings me back to His safe and loving place of rest and restoration.

 

Christ calls to everyone, for He seeks to be the One who cares for the souls and for the life-needs of all people. For those who have accepted that call, He is the absolute provider. All of life becomes a part of Christ’s calling for us. There is nothing that is unimportant to Him; so, He will give us all of the resources that we need to fulfill every aspect of His will. This is a proven, true fact; turn toward God, give the cares and the concerns of the moment to Him, listen to His voice, and He will provide what you need by leading you to His answers and by allowing you to rest safely under the watch of His loving and protective eyes.