Links Daily Devotional

‘Carry Them Forever’

Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever. (Psalm 28:9, ESV)

How would you like to search the mind of a great golfer? We all relish listening to player interviews for a taste of what really goes on in the unseen field of battle that is the mental game. But we are always left with just a taste, with just the amount of limited insight a particular player is willing to give.

How much of the real stuff do we get? We get nuggets, just like we dispense only nuggets to others. Whether with a friend, a small group, or in front of an audience, we rarely will reveal unpleasant things about ourselves—because it doesn’t feel good or safe. And to those whose confidences have actually been betrayed, it seems foolish to ever reveal anything again.

Sometimes it is no comfort to think of grace as an umbrella over us, going as far as the east is from the west. Sometimes it takes a personal view of God’s embrace to his people.But there is one from whom there is no point in hiding the cracks and creaks of our handmade armors. God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows it all. He knows the first thing we did today, he knows the last thing we will do, and knows all the thoughts and feelings in between.

We are not comfortable in that place of being fully known, and if we stop to think about it we’ll waggle yet more. Is he safe?, we hope. What if he really knew that?!, we frightfully think.

Sometimes we’ll get busy at covering those spots with churchgoing, Bible reading, or other brands of good deeds. Sometimes we’ll jump on the denial train, stuffing things back and leaving them to linger there like a garbage can, to be full another day. But sometimes we feel either so worn out or so assaulted by guilt that we begin to wonder if grace can actually stretch that far, and how it would feel for us to finally find rest. We wonder, because of course we are not really sure. We can be confident in our theologies and sure for others that grace covers them through and through, but there is that little voice that can come to nag us, saying, “Not you. Not this. Because you know better.”

The problem of guilt is first a question of reality, then of safety. Of course God knows that you know better, and that’s how he found you in the first place. He knows it all. You will know better and better for the rest of your life, and that’s why you actually need God’s mercy more and more. So how can even one person be safe with him? None of course are safe, but for the covering of Christ’s blood. “We know that, praise be to God!” we say.

Yes, but we forget, don’t we? Sometimes it is no comfort to think of grace as an umbrella over us, going as far as the east is from the west. Sometimes it takes a personal view of God’s embrace to his people. Sometimes it takes the picture of a shepherd carrying his sheep. Sometimes it takes the gift of personal confession to one another to remind us.

There is no safer place than the arms of God in Christ and through his church. Don’t settle for saying “I feel pretty good about my game” when your heart is really crying out for help. “Carry them forever” means it is proper to speak of our desperate need for him today and every day.

Isabelle Beisiegel
November 19, 2015
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