When Life is Chaos – Isaiah 49:23

Organizing my priorities has had me tied up in knots this week, since a hairy, life-changing event happened in our family. I’ve been on edge, trying to untangle the threads and still meet my deadlines.

Always Hope byKD Canva

Today, however, Karen Ball from the Steve Laube Agency posted just the words I needed to hear. We must be experiencing similar frustrations with the many kinks and twists in the weaving of our lives causing both of us to fail getting our blog posts written.

Take a look at her current one, “Expecting the Unexpected.” In her relaxed, encouraging style, she brought me back to the realization that “life is chaos” and God is still in control. He’s still God.

As though to make sure I was listening, the first person to comment on Karen’s post shared a verse that has been one of my favorites for years.

“Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:23 NIV).

So, perhaps I’m not giving you anything terribly eloquent today. I’m leaning on someone else’s insight, mainly because I can’t compete with how well Karen says it. And she’s funnier than I am.

But here’s the truth. Sometimes all we’ve got is hope. And there’s no reason to stew about anything that’s going on around us, even when we’re trapped in a mess of problems like wool threads on a spindle. God promised through his prophet that we will know him and we won’t be disappointed.

It’s going to be OK.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

Complaining to God – Psalm 44

During the birth of our fourth child, when the contractions were becoming too difficult to handle gracefully, I decided to complain. I don’t like letting my tongue get out of control so in the agonizing peak of a contraction I ground my teeth and clipped with the strongest language I could muster, “I. don’t. like. this.”

The writer of Psalm 44 claims God is dealing with his people unfairly, and recites some facts about how God helped his people in the past. He also submits himself to God as his king and offers praise. (This is remarkable because when I’m complaining I’m not thinking about submission or praise).

Then he lists his complaints.

fanginhoon.free.stockxchng

fanginhoon.free.stockxchng

“You made us retreat before the enemy and our adversaries have plundered us. You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations. You sold your people for a pittance, gaining nothing from their sale” (Psalm 44:10-12 NIV).

The list continues.

“You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us. You have made us a byword among the nations; the peoples shake their heads at us. I live in disgrace all day long, and my face is covered with shame at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me …” (verse 13-16).

In the next few verses he claims the innocence of his people.

“All this came upon us, though we had not forgotten you; we had not been false to your covenant. Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path” (verse 17-18).

“If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?” (verse 20-21).

We aren’t told how God responded to these complaints, but the writer finishes Psalm 44 with a plea for rescue because of his unfailing love. Whether guilty or innocent we need God’s never-ending love.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

God is the Boss – Psalm 33

One thing I love about this mini Bible study is discovering how the scriptures speak so clearly for themselves. I need merely highlight what I see, and understanding comes. Psalm 33 reminds me that God is God.

“The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:10-11 ESV).

PennyMathes stock.xchng

PennyMathews stock.xchng

His plans stand forever, and we cannot change them. Everything might look like our world is out of control, but that’s simply not true. He made us, he rules over it all, and he watches over us to intervene for our lives.

“The Lord looks down from heaven, he sees all the children of man. From where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds” (verses 13-15).

“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine” (verses 18-19).

In all the craziness and distractions that come my way, I am so glad he is God.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

He Made it and it’s all His – Psalm 24

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it …” (Psalm 24:1 NIV). What a powerful statement. The musicians and singers of this psalm-song had to have jumped into this rousing declaration, punching it from the start. I can imagine clapping and dancing, because (as I would sing it) “he made it all and it’s all his, he made us all and we’re all his, bup bup ti da da.”

SebnemImece.stock.xchng
SebnemImece.stock.xchng

The middle verses contain a promise about who gets to be close to God, and then the final verses, like a song’s chorus that just won’t die, are repeated.

“Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in” (both verses 7 and 9). I think “lifting up” means to lift up the crossbeam that holds the gate shut. At any rate, it’s clear the gates should be prepared for the King to enter.

In verses 8 and 10 the question is asked and the answer given twice. “Who is this King of glory?” or “Who is he, this King of glory?”

I can see this being chanted back and forth between two groups, building up to a crescendo. “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle” and “The Lord Almighty – he is the King of glory!”

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

When Trouble Comes – Psalm 9

I’ve never known how it feels to be one of our foster children, heartbroken because of separation from their birth families and living with people who don’t feel their brokenness the way they do. But right now, in the struggles I’m dealing with today, I need a place of refuge. I need a safe place to hide. I need to be held by someone who understands me. And I know where to go.

“The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:7-10 NIV).

The points are simple:
1. The Lord reigns. He’s the boss.
2. The Lord is the judge and he governs with justice. He makes things right.
3. The Lord is my refuge when I’m oppressed. He’s my protective Father.
4. The Lord is my stronghold in trouble. His is power beyond measure.
5. The Lord has never forsaken someone who is seeking him.

My response is “Lord, I trust you. I know your Name, and I trust you.”

by Kathy Sheldon Davis