Maybe think about it another way. . .

29 Jan

I have been looking at Psalm 59 for a couple of days now.  I was thinking if I had anything to say about another psalm talking about “enemies”.

Then I thought about it differently.

One of the difficulties in my life is thoughts that sap my energy.  Not BIG, “Oh my Gosh” thoughts, just annoying, “life is hard” thoughts.  Things like, a friend in the hospital, a situation that did not work out as I thought it would, reports to be finished, uncertainty about what is up ahead in my life. . .

I realized that these energy sapping thoughts can be the enemy.  I don’t want to trivialize what happened to the writer of the psalm or their experience.  I think it is important to understand the actually dangers that God’s people faced.

Yet, this psalm is very personal. So, when I think about those who are personally against me, I think about how I often become my own worst enemy.  I truly want God to rescue me from mental energy spent on unhelpful stress.

1-2 My God! Rescue me from my enemies,
defend me from these mutineers.
Rescue me from their dirty tricks,
save me from their hit men.

Those thoughts really do gang up on me, hid from me to ambush me when I am not ready to defend myself.  Those thoughts can generate doubt and despair and God must battle them.

3-4 Desperadoes have ganged up on me,
they’re hiding in ambush for me.
I did nothing to deserve this, God,
crossed no one, wronged no one.
All the same, they’re after me,
determined to get me.

4-5 Wake up and see for yourself! You’re God,
God-of-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God!
Get on the job and take care of these pagans,
don’t be soft on these hard cases.

God is the one who must move into action against the unhelpful mental life that often becomes most powerful during those late evening hours.  Those mental loops run over and over again and sometimes it feels like they will never get caught.

6-7 They return when the sun goes down,
They howl like coyotes, ringing the city.
Then suddenly they’re all at the gate,
Snarling invective, drawn daggers in their teeth.
They think they’ll never get caught.

8-10 But you, God, break out laughing;
you treat the godless nations like jokes.
Strong God, I’m watching you do it,
I can always count on you.
God in dependable love shows up on time,
shows me my enemies in ruin.

It is God who can transform our thoughts.  And, my experience is, it is not quick work!  Again and again, we have to turn those thoughts over to God to be changed.

11-13 Don’t make quick work of them, God,
lest my people forget.
Bring them down in slow motion,
take them apart piece by piece.
Let all their mean-mouthed arrogance
catch up with them,
Catch them out and bring them down
—every muttered curse
—every barefaced lie.
Finish them off in fine style!
Finish them off for good!
Then all the world will see
that God rules well in Jacob,
everywhere that God’s in charge.

14-15 They return when the sun goes down,
They howl like coyotes, ringing the city.
They scavenge for bones,
And bite the hand that feeds them.

I need to remember that God has the power to transform; that it is only the present moment I can effect; that God will be with me through it all.  Yea!

It is God I trust.

16-17 And me? I’m singing your prowess,
shouting at cockcrow your largesse,
For you’ve been a safe place for me,
a good place to hide.
Strong God, I’m watching you do it,
I can always count on you—
God, my dependable love.

I pray you can find God’s dependable love in this day.  I pray you can let God reign in your thoughts to give you peace.

I know God can do it if I lean on God.

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