Psalm 27:1,9,13-14 – The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid? Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (NIV)
As my little spring seedlings began to grow bigger and stronger, preparing for life outside, I began turning them on a regular basis. As they were situated in front of large windows and received full sun much of the day, having these turning points ensured that they would grow straight and strong instead of leaning over toward the sun to such a degree as to break their tender stalks.
One day as I was doing so, I was reminded of some of the turning points in my own life. Even though I knew scripturally that the Lord was my light and my salvation, the stronghold of my life, and that I had nothing to fear, these were times when, emotionally, I felt that God had hidden His face from me, and that He had turned away in anger at something that I had said or done, or possibly even thought.
They were dark and confusing times. Times when I did not feel the presence of God with me. Times when I wondered where He was when I most needed him. Times filled with hurt and anger and fear. And yet, just as the sun continued to shine through my windows on my little plants, even though I had turned them away from the light, Scripture makes it very clear that God continued to be with me in my darkness, for He never leaves us nor forsakes us.
Amazingly enough, in hindsight, I clearly see that those times forced me to grow stronger and taller in my faith, much more able to stand firm and not to be broken by the forces of this world. My understanding of God deepened, and my Christian maturity became more well-rounded, making my scope of ministry to others broader and hopefully wiser as well. Amidst my turning points, my scriptural head knowledge also became heart knowledge, a knowing beyond knowing, deep in my innermost being, that the Lord is my light and my salvation and that I have nothing to fear, not only in the good times but also at all times.
How about you today? Are you basking in the sun, delighting in the presence of the Lord, or are you experiencing a spiritual turning point, a point where you feel that the Lord has hidden His face from you, and turned away in anger and rejection, forsaking you? If so, then, don't despair, for God has not left you. The Son is still shining upon you whether you feel Him or not, for He has promised, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5b NIV). And God cannot lie. So, take courage, for I am confident of this: you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. So, wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
You will be oh-so-glad that you did.
Prayer: Father God, bless each and every one today who is experiencing a hard time, a turning point in life. Uplift and encourage them that You are with them and that amid this difficult time, You are faithfully and wonderfully growing and maturing them into the kind of Christian that their heart yearns to be. Bless them with kind and encouraging words from others and strength to take heart and wait for You. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.
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