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Friday, April 19, 2019

Walking Difficult, Dangerous Paths – Expanded

Yesterday, I shared several passages that have meant a lot to me over the past couple of years.  Today, I am going to depart from the usual practice here and share the passage and then some thoughts about the way that passage impacts me walking a difficult, dangerous path.  This is essentially copied from my journal, as is – I have added to it a bit because in my journal I write in a personal form of shorthand…
Walking Difficult, Dangerous Paths – Expanded
Psalm 142:3a (all passages will be NASB95)
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path…
In the midst of all, anything we are experiencing, this path, regardless of how dark it seems you know.  There is nothing that I am encountering that is not known to you.

I wrote Psalm 139:3 under this passage: You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways...
He not only knows my path, He has examined it, scrutinized it, knows every twist, turn, bump, crack, hazard on that path.

Then I referred to Psalm 139:5 without writing it out: You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me...
While on this path, the Lord has surrounded me and has me in His hand.  I cannot be separated from Him however difficult the trial.

The next Psalm also dealt with this – note that when I put a letter after a verse, 8c I am referring to a later portion of the verse.

Psalm 143:8c –…Teach me the way in which I should walk…
I am dependent on the Lord to lead me through whatever I am facing.  I cannot navigate it in either my own strength, or with the knowledge I have now…

Psalm 143:10a –…Teach me to do Your will…
Reinforces the previous thought…

Psalm 143:10c –…Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground...
Again reinforcing my absolute dependence on the Lord to traverse – really anything – but especially difficult times.

And then the kicker – it seems that whenever I am struggling with something, either in prayer or in the Word I am always led back to this…
Psalm 143:11a – For the sake of Your name, O LORD, revive me…
When the Lord delivers, when He leads, it is not for my sake, it is not because of my will, it is for His glory.

We are taught, we are revived, not for our benefit but for the Lord’s glory.

The anchor here for me is that nothing that I encounter in this life, be it cancer, the death of a loved one, financial difficulties – whatever, fill in the blank – comes into my life without the Lord’s knowledge.  Further, He has enclosed me and has His hand on me on that path.

I know that there is a purpose for whatever happens on that path.  He scrutinized it, He is using it in my life to bring me closer to Him and to sharpen and mold me into the man He wants me to be.

Caveat – it is really easy to write all of this down in a journal or here in a blog.  It is also easy to read and agree.  Living it, is another matter.  One has to have come to an understanding of both the Love and Sovereignty of God to navigate this well, even then…it’s very hard.

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