Today our Father provided for us, financially. We had been waiting for this since last week. I thanked Him for His provision and faithfulness toward us.
Immediately, thereafter, I became full of self-reproach and condemnation because, once again, I had been faithless and failed in trusting Him to provide for us today.
It was as if my mind were a toxic dumpsite. God didn’t want me there and I didn’t want myself there, so I fought in the best way I know, prayer.
A couple of verses came to mind; first, Romans 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Then, 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
His forgiveness came, but I felt like a miserable wretch; I was giving myself the old, one-two punch. Why was I beating myself up? Why wasn’t I accepting His forgiveness?
The moment I realized this, “it” was gone, “it” was finished, “it” was done! “Yes, that’s right,” I thought, “Jesus did it all for me, on the cross, and it was finished!”
I thought of His mercies, and the hymn, The Steadfast Love of the Lord:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end
They are new every morning, New every morning.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O Lord, Great is Thy faithfulness.
I looked up Lamentations 3:22-23, Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Then I began to think about a conversation I had yesterday, with a friend, at church. He told me he’d had a difficult week, but that reading through Psalms 139 and 34, he had gotten through it; that God had hemmed him in, behind and in front.
I read the beginning six verses of Psalm 139 (KJV):
O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known [me].
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising,
thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down,
and art acquainted [with] all my ways.
For [there is] not a word in my tongue,
[but], lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
[Such] knowledge [is] too wonderful for me;
it is high, I cannot [attain] unto it.
These words were like a elixir to my mind and nectar to my heart.
I looked up the definition of beset (the NIV uses hem). It means, surround. I found it fascinating that God surrounds us behind us and in front of us. That basically means, all around us! And to top it off, He has laid His hand upon us!
But the Lord wasn’t done with His morning blessings, He gave us grace in that we did not have to pay an additional fee for a payment that was due! It was what I call, “A kiss from the Lord.”
I hope that whatever assaults you today will bounce right off because He is hemming you in, behind you and before you, surrounding You with His grace, mercy, peace, love, provision, whatever it is you need.
I leave you with this encouragement and reminder from John 10:10,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.