Dealing with Bad Stuff; October 1, 2019


Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

As always, God knows everything. He knew, long before I compiled this Scripture reading list, what kind of day yesterday was going to be for us. As it is, I find this Psalm remarkably appropriate and relatable. All of us have days when it seems like the blows just don’t stop coming. Whether they are big or small, they add up, and we get distracted from a singular focus on God in all His goodness. This verse is an appropriate prayer, not just for such times but all the time. We have trouble knowing God’s will, and then in doing it once we know it. If God is our God on a personal level, desiring to do His will should go without saying. Next we have a reference to God’s Spirit that is fairly unusual in the Bible. We are most familiar with His title as the Holy Spirit, but here He is specifically called Good. The Japanese here amplifies that a little bit, using an expression that means, “of deep compassion and goodness.” It’s the phrase used in the first line of what is probably the best-loved hymn in Japanese, What a Friend We Have in Jesus. Sometimes “holy” can seem distant or even cold to us, but this is the opposite of that. It is a clear indication that David understood how God interacted with him, and he counted on the character of God, expressed by His Spirit. The last line is a simple request: no pit holes or steep climbs, please. With my wife’s Parkinson’s Disease I am far more aware than I once was of the benefits involved here. At times, even a graveled parking lot can be a risk of stumbling. Level ground, emotionally and spiritually, can be a big blessing. Of course, we have conflicting metaphors here, because God always leads us upward toward Him, but the image is clear enough.

In retrospect, yesterday was very interesting. The largest blow, as such, was discovering that our building insurance has a $1,000 deductible, which means that the $850 cost of replacing our storage shed, flattened by the typhoon, will be out-of-pocket. However, the emotional shocks started when my camera fell from its holster and hit the sidewalk during my morning walk. (The mounting screw had worked loose and fell out.) the only actual damage was a scratch to the lens hood, but the emotional shock was very real. That somewhat set the stage, and every other negative thing in the day hit home. What I should have done was thank and praise God more for the lack of damage to my camera, which would have put me in much better position to resist the other attacks. I find it significant that yesterday came right after receiving a comment on my blog that was enormously encouraging, indicating that God is very specifically raising up people to pray for us whom we know nothing about. The devil didn’t like that, so he picked up his attacks! However, nothing negative that happened yesterday is ultimately of any real consequence, and I am to continue to grow in learning to rest, relax, and rejoice in my Lord, knowing and doing His will, just as David prayed here.

Father, thank You indeed for knowing everything about me, from before You formed me in my mother’s womb all the way through until I stand before Your throne in heaven. May I rejoice to know that You know everything I don’t, and that not only do You have it all in control, Your plans are absolutely glorious. May those plans be fulfilled in every detail, for the salvation of this nation, for Your glory alone. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
This entry was posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s