AI am the Lord your God,
Who brought you up from the land of Egypt.
open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10
As I mused for this Monday Musing, I thought a lot about Psalm 81 and my past. I prayed, “Why then, even though I know about the gospel of Jesus, can I feel so distant from you Lord? Why can I feel empty, tired, and hungry for more? Why can I feel so up and down? Why can’t I just be a perfect Christian? Lord, It’s hard to cope with these feelings after the many amazing messages, talks, and blessings you have provided on my journey with you. Even though I can feel so close to you now, I fear the next “season” of distance. Am I doing something wrong? Am I good enough?
Lord God, what the heck do I do?”
I am sorry my start was so bleak, but I want to be honest with you about my thoughts. Behind a happy mask at Cru and at church, I am a sinner who makes too many mistakes to count. Yet, I am forgiven sinner, covered by Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, on a journey following Jesus.
If any of you have felt some of the feelings I described, I welcome you with me to the life-long journey of walking with the Lord. I welcome you to the same journey that Job, David, Joseph, Abraham, Peter, Paul and so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ have experienced. But, this is really a story of hope and redemption. Their story ends in triumph because the Lord was with them, as He is with us. We have Jesus Christ, who overcame death and whose love has no bounds for his children. Nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ (Romans 8:35-39).
Why then, can we feel that we do open our mouths to God, yet still feel thirsty? I believe many times, we can unknowingly come to God with our mouths already stuffed with other things! I imagine myself coming to a well, hoping to draw the life-giving water in my bucket. But as I bring it up, it’s filled with mud! Confused, I go back the next day and again, mud. I insanely do the same thing over and over again hoping to get water. Finally, I realize that from the beginning, I hadn’t opened up space the water; it was packed with mud all along.
Like the mud, what in our lives are we holding onto? Where are we not making space for God to work in our lives? For me, I have resentment in my life I am figuring out. For you, it may be insecurity, for others, it may be pride. When I turn to the Lord with no intentions to let Him convict me, what will change? Jesus doesn’t want automatons that “do” everything right for Him. He wants a real heart and real desires so we can have a real relationship with Him.
This isn’t a one-time fix, but instead, a journey to learn what it means to look into ourselves and see what we can’t relax our grip on. This isn’t easy, but with earnestly seeking the Lord’s help, our triumph is secured.
Looking in the Bible, we see that the Israelites experienced the same thing, they struggled with trusting in the Lord as their only King. They looked to the empty wells of other gods and human kings and came up empty handed.
The Israelites “cried out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. But now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, that we may serve you.’” (1st Samuel 12:10)
“Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. (1st Samuel 12:20-22
How great a God we worship, who tells us through his Word, that if we open ourselves to Him, and he will fill us with what we need. Jesus tells us that if we knock, the door will open, and if we seek, we will find. Jabez, in 1st Chronicles 4:10, earnestly cried out so that God “would bless me indeed”, and the Lord provided.
I find this to be the most comforting part of my life as a Christian. I gave my life to Jesus during Fall Retreat my freshmen year with Cru, and my life started the journey it was truly meant to follow. I don’t say this with hindsight, but with faith. I know with trusting Jesus and praying for his blessings, I will step into a life that I was created to live. The gospel reaches all, even those who don’t know the law, traditions, how to look like a “good Christian”. I know this because the gospel reaches me everyday, a still deeply broken sinner, but in the eyes of God, I am his workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), and God doesn’t make junk work.
No matter what other people, the world or even we think about my life, we are God’s perfect workmanship. You are God’s perfect workmanship. Lets open up wide to God, and let him in.
I am the Lord your God,
Who brought you up from the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10