Friday, March 14, 2008

Our Strong Habitation

So many people have the wrong impression that missionaries have such "great faith" and can handle anything--but we have the same problems you do. I see how easily I fall apart at just the smallest trials-- I am ashamed to admit this but am being open and honest. Many times I even wonder how the Lord can use me--I am such a weak vessel, but a willing one in spite of all my failings.
Today our landlord called to say that our rent was being raised according to the cost of living index, and that it took effect three months ago, so we would need to reimburse him for the additional increase since January. When my husband told me, I got angry, and confused. "What? You can't decide to raise the rent and inform us three months later--telling us oh, by the way, you owe me several hundred dollars of back rent since the increase took place at the first of the year." I grumble and complain--this would never happen in the states! It is not legal! I saw how quickly I forgot all the promises of God in my frustration. I lost my peace over a few hundred dollars. Now of course, this does have important implications to us, such as whether we should move, etc. but the Lord has a way of revealing our weak areas, and for me it tends to be financial matters. For others, it may be sickness, loss of a loved one, divorce, relationship or work related difficulties. But whatever the reason, we all have trials, problems, and temptations that we are dealing with on a continual basis.
All kinds of things were running through my mind-- and the Lord started bringing verses to my mind, correcting my bad thinking. He was "drawing me" into His place of rest by a kind, small, still voice.
One thing I really look forward to with the start of each new day is making my cup of coffee, and going into the living room and reading my Bible. It is a habit we have in our home, the first thing we do in the morning is read our Bibles. If we impart nothing else to our children, hopefully this will be something that will stick with them the rest of their lives--the necessity of staying the in Word of God to encourage, strengthen, and keep us in the way of righteousness.
Today as I was reading Psalm 71, a particular portion of scripture really spoke to me, verse three where the Psalmist wrote:
"Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort."
What a privilege we have, to resort-- continually find refuge in God's dwelling place. We think of going to a "resort" as a place where we can find comfort, relaxation, and put aside our stressful cares of this life. This world is a place of confusion but we can escape into the dwelling place of the most High. How many times throughout the day do we allow ourselves to be anxious over occurences in our lives that we can't understand--but we need to retreat to the place of refuge and safety, and focus our thoughts on God's unfailing promises.
Once again, as I have done in the past--I resort into the refuge of God's Word and am comforted. He has taken care of us every step of our journey, and He will continue to do so in the future.
I sometimes worry what will happen to us when we are older--then I read how God will take care of us in our old age, when our strength faileth. In the same Psalm God reveals His desire for us to pass down our faith to those around us writing,
"Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one
that is to come." Psalm 71: 18
He also promises to quicken us again, bringing us up from the depths of the earth, and comforting us on every side. As a result, our hearts should be filled with God's praise, and our lips should greatly rejoice in all that He has done.
A pastor we knew a long time ago used to make fun of people who spent a lot of time reading the Psalms, as he called it "baby food" and the milk of the Word--but for my husband and I, the Psalms have been a continual feast and source of nourishment. We go there continually for consolation and rest. It is probably one of our favorite books of the Bible.

No comments: