Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Psalm 27: Someday

"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the living." (v.13)

"Someday, maybe, someday." We've all said it, but it's not really a statement of hope. It's more often a fatalistic resignation to the death of some kind of dream. "Someday I'll get a decent job." "Someday we'll be able to afford the kind of house our family really needs." "Someday I'll get myself in shape." "Someday I'll finally find a good church." "Someday I'll find that special person to love." "Someday we'll get our finances in order." "Someday I'll go back to school." "Someday I'll quit saying someday." "Someday," is a way of communicating what we wish would happen, but deep down inside don't really think will. But we say it because it makes us momentarily feel better about the things in the here and now that we've trouble accepting.

The reason our "somedays" are more fatalistic than hopeful is that in our sane moments we all know that we don't have the power and control over our world that we would need to have in order to guarantee the realization of our dreams. We also know that we're harvesting the choices that we've made that have led us to where we are. So our "somedays" are more medicinal and therapeutic than hopeful predictions of what surely will come. They are mental pills to get dissatisfied hearts through disappointing days.

The "someday" of Psalm 27 is very different. It is a statement of confidence that's both deeply encouraging and powerfully motivating. When David says that someday he'll see "the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the living," he isn't caressing some future dream in order to help him accept present disappointment. In fact, this statement isn't a wish or a dream at all. It's not really a hope for some future outcome. No, what David makes here is a statement of IDENTITY. David is remembering who he is and in remembering who he is, he's remembering what he has now and in the future.

Who is David? He's a child of the God of Israel. He's one of God's chosen ones; the object of God's love, the recipient of God's promises. The God who's his father, is a God of immeasurable power, unfathomable wisdom, inconceivable sovereignty, untainted truth, and abounding grace. David's God isn't only the ultimate definition of what's good; he has the power and control to produce every good thing that he's promised his children. He's in absolute control of every location, circumstance, individual, natural force, institution, and relationship. As Nebuchadnezzar said, after being humbled by this God, "He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: 'What have you done?'" (Daniel 4:35)

Trust in God isn't a thin hope in some not very sure outcome. Hope in God is rather a present investment in a future guarantee. What God says, will be done. What God has promised, will come to pass. His word is reliable because, in his grace, he wants to bless us and in his power he has the ability to do anything he's promised to do. When you live with his promises in view, you live with confidence, courage, and unshakable hope. You then become free of anxiety and worry. You become free of vain attempts to manipulate people and situations in order to get what you want. You place yourself in the hands of a sovereign God of grace who knows exactly what you need, when you need it, how you need it, and where you'll need it. And because your Father is good, he'll never turn a deaf ear to your cries and he'll never abandon you in your hour of need. No, you won't always understand what he's doing and you'll be tempted to think that he's gotten his timing wrong, but the more you entrust your life to him the more you'll experience his faithful grace again and again.

Who holds your "someday?" Are you still attempting to change things that are beyond your power and out of your control? Have you simply given up; and in your disappointment resigned to play mental dream games to keep yourself going? Look up! Your Father controls it all and he looks on you with grace and favor. It's never ever risky to place your past, present, and future in his hands. His "someday" isn't a "someday" at all, no, it's a "will be."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Psalm 27: The Theology of Beauty

"That I might dwell in the house of the Lord to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord." (v.4)

What is
How is
Where is
Is beauty without a
Is beauty without an
Could it be that there are
two kinds of beauty?
In this world there is
Source beauty
Reflected beauty.
Source beauty is
true beauty
pure beauty
timeless beauty
independent beauty
definitional beauty
divine beauty.
Reflected beauty is
shadow beauty
tainted beauty
dependent beauty
ill-defined beauty
creation beauty.
All sin is sin against
Idolatry puts
Reflected beauty
Source beauty's place.
Sin hammers reflected
into the shape of
Sin then names ugly
The more distant it is from its
the less beauty there is to be
in reflected beauty.
Source beauty is not to be
It is only
eternally to be
In the
the feet of beauty
touched earth
to reveal
to teach
to restore
to help beauty be
in order that
in the hearts of men
Source beauty
would be restored
to its
rightful place.
I still live
in the middle of
a beauty war.
And in the
of the
I do not see beauty
With battle scarred
I look at what is
and I think I see
Please heal
my eyes.
Please restore
my heart
so I may
gaze no where else
the beauty
that only
from you.