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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sustained

"I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side" (Psalm 3:5-6).

I'm sure I cannot prove it, but I am almost certain that I was born on the second pew on the left side in the church that seemed to be my second home. When the doors were opened, we were there. At the time, it seemed less of a priority and more of some blind obsession. There were many times I fabricated some excuse that would hopefully exempt me from what I saw as a senseless torture of enduring another endless church service.

Many years now removed from that season of life, and "ironically" as a pastor of a church where I am undoubtedly imposing a similar torture on countless members of the "next generation, I am changed. I am reminded of truths that I have picked up over the miles of the journey, though at the time I was just trying to "get through." There were stories told from the Bible that have become alive to me with truth, hope, and inspiration during times where darkness has tried to overwhelm. What encourages me most, at times, are the moments when memories of years gone by reach in and change the tuner of my inner radio and a song long forgotten begins to play.

Recently a song from my days of Sunday School and children's church came subtly back into my remembrance. It was the song that reminds me that "He's got the whole world in His hands, the whole wide world in His hands." As I close my eyes and search my mind and hear my friends singing and laughing as we moved in motion with hands and arms swaying to the words of the song, singing every verse.

David knew the life-changing power of this truth when he uttered these awe-inspiring words. The thoughts and imaginations of this life's intimidating struggles and the darkness that looms threaten the peace that God intended for both are days and our nights. He knew that no matter how many were surrounding him on every side, God had not lifted His hand of protection or provision from his calling or his life. God would sustain him. God would hold him. God would protect him from the inside out. David would continue on as Israel's greatest king before their captivity because of his reliance on the steadiness of God's strong hands.

The world is an amazing place and a miraculous object of unfathomable wonder. It weighs more than you can comprehend, spins at a speed that would make the fastest merry-go-round seem like it's standing still, is tilted at just the right angle, and is positioned from the sun with unmistakeably purposed precision. Any closer to the sun and all life would be consumed by the radiant heat. Any further away and all life would freeze. If the same God who created all life and the planet on which it lives is able to hold it altogether, then what is so impossible about your life that God cannot hold?

He still has the whole world in His hands. If He's got a whole world in His hands, then rest assured with the peace that passes all understanding that He's got a whole YOU in His hands, too. He's holding you. He is sustaining you. You can have peace and strength in the midst of what you can't comprehend. His love and attention to the details of your life have never waned, and He's not giving up. Are you tired? Weary? Overwhelmed? Go ahead and lie down to sleep to night in His perfect peace. No matter what awaits you in the morning, His grace, peace, strength, and love will be there. He will sustain you...if you let Him.

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