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Monday, October 2, 2017

When My Heart is Overwhelmed



To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David.
Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee,
when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For thou hast been a shelter for me,
and a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever:
I will trust in the covert of thy wings.
 (Psalm 61:1-4)

A friend just lost her son. He was a beautiful young man, one of the most naturally talented people I have ever known. But, he has suddenly passed away. I grieve with his parents and siblings. I am overwhelmed.

I need something. I need to know how to pray.

God brought this phrase to mind. When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. That certainly describes me at this moment, when I’m beyond my means to understand or cope. You see, her son was the same age of one of our children. They were friends. They grew up together, went to camp together. This could so easily have been my child. His mother is my friend, a lady who always points me to Christ.

I need to go to the Rock. Who is this Rock?

The Scriptures are clear. These are just a few of many:
  • He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he (Deuteronomy 32:4).
  • There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God (1 Samuel 2:2).
  • And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer (2 Samuel 22:2).
  • The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation (2 Samuel 22:47).
  • The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted (Psalm 19:46).
  • In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God (Psalm 62:7).
  • And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).

Jesus is the Rock! He is the God of my salvation, my fortress, and my deliverer. The Bible leaves no doubt.

When my heart is overwhelmed, I go to Him. He’s ready to hear my cry, but not only that: Jesus is able to give me what I need: shelter. What a concept! When I am grieving, when my heart doesn’t even know how to express itself, I cry out to Jesus, and He provides shelter. What a lovely word!

And that’s not all. He’s a strong tower from the enemy. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of castles. They are always built on hills, and they have guard towers and turrets. Jesus is that guard tower. He looks out for us. He puts up that extra line of defense—when we are overwhelmed.



The following phrases present two more pictures: I will abide in thy tabernacle forever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. The first is abiding in God’s tabernacle forever. This is speaking about an eternal trust—a future hope—of being in God’s habitation. We can think of this as heaven. The next one is really sweet. It speaks of chicks being covered with their parent’s wings. They’re all snuggled next to and covered up with those wings, protected.



That’s what God does for us. He gathers us to Him and holds and keeps us tight, sheltered, protected. Jesus looked over Jerusalem and said, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings (from Matthew 23:37).

My heart is overwhelmed, and I know where to go.

I will shelter.

  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Non-fiction Review--Grief Undone: A Journey with God and Cancer


Grief Undone: A Journey with God and Cancer, by Elizabeth W. D. Groves is one of the best books about suffering and death I have ever read. I highly recommend it. It is a joyous, victorious, and realistic account of a husband’s journey through terminal cancer. The book begins when he’s given approximately one year to live.

This is an honest account, written by his wife, about answered prayers, how God worked in their family, frustrations, and complications. His children wrote a few of the chapters as blog posts at the time, but the book is mainly from the wife’s point of view. She shares the Scriptures they hang onto at different times along the way.

I can hardly believe I can use a word like “enjoy” for a book about dying, but I truly enjoyed reading this refreshing account of a Christian family going through the “valley of the shadow of death.”


Easily five stars.