Poured Out

Psalm 38: 9 – 10

Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You. My heart throbs, my strength fails me; and the light of my eyes, even that has gone from me.

I am moved by David’s passion and how he lays his heart out before the lord. Is this something we do? Is this something I do?

When I am under stress, I turn into a turtle. I withdraw into my shell and hold everything inside. We all know, at least intellectually, that this is not good, not healthy, and completely non-productive. David had a better system. He poured out his heart to God, his beloved, his father. He emptied himself of every thought without judgment. He just said was he was thinking and what he was feeling without restriction or prejudice.

I know there are many things that we think and feel that we also know are completely invalid. We don’t want to say them because we know they are ludicrous. There is some sense in that but that mature, logical theory does not apply here. When we talk with our Father, we need to feel free to pour ourselves out as David did. You can be as irresponsible as a child and say everything you think, express every emotion you feel. It is His job to pick you up and put your feet back on the right track. We get so busy being grown-up with our stoic faces and stiff back that we functionally shut out our Father and His healing touch. We never let Him rescue us much less touch our broken hearts because we won’t allow ourselves to be completely open to Him. It is as if it is against the rules to let down our guard for even a moment.

We really need to learn that we can run into the shelter of the most high where there is no need for our guard, where we can exhale fully and let ourselves feel the depth and richness of human emotion. God is passionate, you know that right? And we are made in His image. He did not create us to be stiff upper lip, intransigent robots.

God said that David was a man after His own heart. We can meditate on that statement for days, weeks, even years. What was it about David that moved God’s heart? Why is it that we don’t find God saying of David that he stirred His imagination or made Him think? In other words, God reveals that David wasn’t a child of His soul or His mind. I am sure that David and God had great thoughts together. Of course they shared great images from their imagination. Yet when God described David, He reveals him as part of His own heart. David lived in the center of God’s being and I am sure that, to this day, David lives to sing his lovely songs to the Father and they share great joy together. However, when David lived on earth he shared all he thought and all he felt with the love of his heart, his first love, God the Father; Lord and King but Father above all.

Or should I say parent because Yahweh is both Mother and Father. He is One, the One. He is not segregated into Mother and Father but is both. All in all, all in one. He is everything we need. It is just an unfortunate result of language and our humanness that we have gender specific pronouns. Yahweh is as female as male so when you need a trait that we on earth define as feminine have no reservation for that which we need abides in our beloved in richness and fullness. H/she is all the compassion you need and has the answers to every hurt and every problem. We can, therefore, trust in an unhindered fashion. We can, and should, pour out our hearts which are full of fear, frustration, anger, worry, and anxiety. And when we pour it out to our God and Father, then we are no longer full of those negative emotions. We can safely give them to “Him”, and He will give us back the reassurance and confidence we need. The truth of that statement is readily detectable as you read the songs of David.

David’s psalms often begin with expressions of anguish. Sometimes all but the very end is full of the suffering, anger and torment of his situation but always, by the end of the psalm, God has restored him. In the end of every calamitous event is the resurrection of Jesus and the lifting of our own heads.

Here is the morale of the story – God cannot lift our heads if we are stiff necked and proud. It is when we bow our heads that we allow Him to be God. When we pour our guts out on the floor before Him, He can lift us up. Remember, it is in our weakness that we are strong for God teaches us, “My power is strongest when you are weak,” (2 Corinthians 12: 9). The revelation of that statement caused Paul to write, “When I am weak, then I am strong,” (2 Corinthians 12: 10). In other words, we can never put on His strength if we never abandon our own. Ours is just a shadow anyway. It is just a projected image of the true strength which is in our Dad.

God makes a trade with us, taking our misery and giving us His glory. Isaiah 61: 3 foretells this as Jesus’ calling, his ministry, “Giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.” We take our sadness, sorrow and misery, all of our challenges and frustrations to the Father and He trades with us giving us all of His goodness. He freely offers to trade happiness and joy for our sadness and grief.

So, be like David. Pour out your heart to God. Purge yourself of those toxic emotions and receive back joy unspeakable.

No Fear Here

Isaiah 41: 10

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

How many times do we need to have God say to us, “Do not fear?” Probably at least once a day. So here is today’s dose. Our Father wants us to know that He is on the job. He is paying attention to us and we should not fear. He isn’t begging us not to be afraid, though. This really appears as a command. And now that I look at the situation from His perspective, it is a bit insulting, isn’t it, that He is our God, our Father and yet we are running around in high anxiety and fear. Our God is Yahweh, He that is and ever will be. Why should we be afraid?

Father goes on to assure us that He is with us. We don’t have to anxiously look around us. We can go with confidence knowing that He is with us always, that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is strength for us so that we need not try to be strong in ourselves. In fact, Paul taught us that in our weakness is strength (2 Corinthians 12: 10). 

How do we convince ourselves that our Father is with us; that He will strengthen us and uphold us? I really believe we learn it through the most frightening mechanism of all; letting go. We have to let God be God. We have to relinquish a bit of the control to Him. I like to say that we have to let go of the reins because that paints a picture for me that I can relate to. I really think that for most of us we have to take God out for a test drive. We trust Him with something small and see that all works well when we put situations in His hands and then the next time we are able to trust Him with something a bit larger. The other situation is that get to the point that we are so exhausted that we have nothing left but to trust God. And then, Eureka! It works.

I really wish one person could experience this for everyone and then that we could all just believe that person, subsequently taking this verse as truth on its face. If we could only believe that God and Isaiah actually knew what they were saying. Unfortunately, it rarely works that way. So, instead of asking you to believe me or to believe this verse, I am asking you to give it a try. Take it around the block, kick the tires and see for yourself. God is worthy of our trust. He will uphold you, guard you and protect you. He is your shield and your refuge. Invest a bit of your trust in Him and let Him show you that you have no need in being anxious ever again. Think about it, to never fear again. Now that is a good way to live.