Saturday, October 18, 2008

Renewed Hope

Psalm 73
1Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. [a]
5 They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity [b] ; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. [c]
11 They say, "How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?"
12 This is what the wicked are like— always carefree, they increase in wealth.
13 Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.
15 If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me
till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.
18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
20 As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.
21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

Psalm 73 exposes my selfishness and darkness of heart. When I finally come into His presence, humbled, He opens my eyes to see people in a completely different light. He can then, and only then, fill my heart with a new vision for their life.

There are times in my life, in my work, that I grow weary and this week I had a new sensation. I started to completely lose hope for one of the mothers I am working with. I lost my vision for her because I couldn't see how God would take this fragile being and grow her into something more whole. I was stopped in my tracks and my frustration at the realization of my weakness grew.

But God is good and he is stronger than I could ever imagine. And He gave me just enough by the end of the week to renew my hope for her and to renew my vision for what God could bring her.

A whisper of a dream that leaked from her soul and a simple smile.

This is not about me. This is her journey and God's unimaginable work in that process. But while I have the opportunity to be involved, I pray that He will give me new eyes to see where He is guiding her heart.

He alone is the strength of my heart and is my portion forever.

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