Re-framing my reality
Rollo May defined depression as the inability to construct a future. Cut off, on my own, it is hard to see what the future could be or should be. The Word of God breaks into my world and offers a future to me:
Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
Who walks in His ways.
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands
You shall be blessed
And it shall go well with you.
What if I were to begin this day trusting that this is my actual future ?
Trusting that everyone who lives in humbled awe of God and walks in his ways IS blessed ? How would it change how I act and what I do ?
In a sinful fallen world, heart breaks and struggles are unavoidable.
But God has promised me that this story ends well even if some of the chapters in the middle are very dark. In the end, love wins, because God wins. What if I lived this day confident that this future is my actual future ?
I take a moment to meditate on each phrase of the scripture above…
Responding to Reality
If I knew for sure what I am supposed to be doing with my life, there would be a certain comfort and satisfaction that would come from living that way, playing my role I was meant to fill – even when life itself was difficult. If the picture painted by Psalm 128 is true, how then shall I live ? What should be my priorities ? The word of God breaks into my world with practical advice:
Trust in the Lord, and do good.
Dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Note that the very first thing to do is not to do good, but to trust the Lord.
We must begin not by doing but by turning our attention towards our Maker.
Can I trust God in the present tense ?
Then I am to do good. What good ? What the bible names as good. This includes many things but especially being a blessing to others and living a godly life as outlined in the ten commandments. James puts it this way:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
I am to dwell in the land. What does that mean ? That to live as a physical being in a particular physical place with a particular culture is God’s idea. A sense of connection to the land and the community is part of the Christian life. Enjoying the simple pleasures of the physical world and human culture is a gift from God. I have a responsibility to be part of and do good for the community where I live.
I am to befriend faithfulness. I am to pursue relationships with people who are faithful and and faithfulness is to mark my dealings with others. I should be known as one who is truly faithful, not only to God, but to others and the promises I make. I am to pursue a way of life marked by consistent, dependable honesty.
Copyright Langdon Palmer 2016