Mist

9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light. Psalm 36:9

Buckingham Fountain is a large public fountain in Chicago. As with other large fountains, if you stand within a few feet of the man-made edges, you’ll get sprayed with a fine cooling mist. On a hot summer day, that mist will be so refreshing and cool to your warm skin. When you were a hundred feet away you might have wanted to run and jump in the fountain, but now that you’re near it, there’s no need because you are rapidly cooling off being next to it.

The “world” affects us and wears us down. Regularly we need to come close to this Fountain of Life that King David talks about. We know what it’s like to be refreshed by the Fountain’s mist because we’ve experienced it before. We also know what it’s like to be miserable a hundred feet away.

So, here’s a secret I’m still learning: the Fountain is built on a rock solid foundation. It will always be there. We are the ones who move away.

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

Continue Reading Mist

River of Delights

8 They feast on the abundance of your house;
    you give them drink from your river of delights. Psalm 36:8

King David is still referring to those who take refuge in the Lord. What is he talking about when he mentions “feasting on the Lord’s abundance” and drinking from his “river of delights?”

Everyone reading this can probably agree that not everyone in life is “dealt” a great hand. Some people lead very tough lives. Sometimes it’s through personal choices and with others it’s through no fault of their own. Life can be tough and cruel.

But I’ve seen those who thrive even when they’re in the midst of poverty, personal tragedies, and chaos. Similarly, I’ve seen those who have life handed to them on a silver platter throw their lives away by making terrible choices.

The only possessions some of my South Sudanese friends have are the clothes on their back, but they rejoice in the Lord. How can this be? Aren’t they worried where they’ll live, what they’ll eat, or saving their money for retirement?

No, but that’s the point, isn’t it? It’s a choice that they make to focus on the Lord and His goodness. They are forced to make that choice daily or they would shrivel up and become bitter about their plight in life, the one that uncaring leaders and angry machete-toting men have handed to them. They did nothing to deserve it but they choose to enjoy His river of delights.

Continue Reading River of Delights

Taking Refuge

7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 36:7

More than a billion people in the world know what it means to find comfort in the shadow of His wings. While they may not actively practice it, they understand it.

Every day more information is revealed in newspapers and TV news reports about the persecution of Christians throughout the world. Western leaders are hellbent on bending over backwards to tell the world that all of Islam is not to blame for the misdeeds of a few. International leaders do not defend the Christians or Jews who are being slaughtered.

If you know of a missionary or ministry partner who is living in the continents of Africa or Asia, pray for them. They need to know that those of us in the West are doing what we can to pray and raise awareness whenever we can. Pray mainly that they will be able to take refuge in the shadow of His wings often. For in that shadow there is rest and comfort and peace.

Continue Reading Taking Refuge

Unfathomable

6 Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
    your justice like the great deep.
    You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. Psalm 36:6

David is using the extreme settings of mountains and the oceans to illustrate a point: God’s righteousness and justice are unfathomable. In essence he’s acknowledging the obvious. We all know that these two attributes of God are impossible for us to comprehend.

But these are not the only two attributes of God like this. You could say that about love, joy, peace, patience, mercy, goodness, kindness, and a lot more that are in the same category. Everything about the Lord is worth pondering, and especially so when it comes to the mysteries of God. Righteousness and justice, often used interchangeably in the Old and New Testaments, mean “God’s right and fair actions.”

Though they are mysterious to us, his justice and righteousness are also perfect. When His perfect justice and perfect righteousness are fully revealed, we will be in awe at how profound it is.

Until then, though, we can still ponder and wonder and contemplate those character qualities.

Continue Reading Unfathomable

Limitless

5 Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the skies. Psalm 36:5

It’s just like David to identify and define his enemies on the one hand, and then to break out in praise in the very next lines. He recognizes his enemies for who they are, but realizes that the power and majesty of God Almighty is so much more significant than his puny enemies.

We can take great comfort in this because God is so much greater than our enemies or our problems. Seriously, think about it.

This week I held a handful of sand in my hand while looking out into the ocean. How many grains of sand were there? Too many for most patient men to count! How deep is the ocean or how many gallons of water are in the Atlantic Ocean? It’s impossible to know or measure with any degree of accuracy. For those two examples, those were grains of sand in one hand on a fairly large beach, and the water was in one single ocean. Think of the thousands of beaches of the world, and the oceans of the world.

So the question I still find myself asking is, knowing the vastness and immensity of Creator God, how is it possible that I let my problems and enemies have sway over my life?

A good question indeed.

Continue Reading Limitless