Friday, December 14, 2012

An Advent Journey: Stop, Look, Listen - Day 13

"Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, 'You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.'
I say of the godly who are in the land,
'They are the noble people
in whom is all my delight.'
Those who run after other gods
will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out their libations of blood
or take up their names on my lips.
LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
- Psalm 16, TNIV

Can I tell you a secret? There are days, as I take my circular walks around our driveway, when I look at what the Lord has given us, at how 'the boundaries have fallen in pleasant places,' and I can't quite believe it -- or trust it. 

And I think -- up to a point -- that kind of response is a good one. We are not to trust in the gifts but in the Giver. 

But the flip side of that is this: I live a lot of my life waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop -- for the rug to be pulled out, for tragedy to strike. Maybe that's because we've been there a few times, we've walked (and still walk) the road of loss on multiple levels in our marriage, in our immediate family, in our extended family, in our church community. We are acquainted with grief. 

I think there is more to this, however. I'm not sure I can define it accurately, but I believe it stems from a fundamental lack of trust in God's goodness. Sometimes it's hard to believe that Goodness and Love are the prevailing forces for life in this universe when I look around at the world in general and the lives of people I love in particular. So.Much.Tragedy. 

So when I read a psalm like this one, it brings me up short, stops me in my tracks for a bit. Do I believe that 'my lot is secure?' Do I trust that, no matter what happens, God is GOOD and FAITHFUL? 

"I believe, Lord. Help thou my unbelief."

That is the cry of my heart on this Advent Friday, Lord. Help thou my unbelief! Open my heart to the joy of my salvation, allow trust to grow and flourish, deep in my soul. May my 'heart be glad,' my tongue 'rejoice,' and my very body 'rest secure' in who you are. I believe, Lord. Help thou my unbelief.