And so my saga continues. First the Achilles ruptured in January. Then the opposite knee required surgery. Just as things began to turn—the cast came off and my legs began learning to walk again—shingles nailed me. And so, I’m dealing with yet another major physical challenge. All the while, I’m learning and relearning wonderful spiritual truths.
This morning I read the psalmist’s familiar words, “Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care” (Psalm 95:6-7). Beautiful words, they are. Words that invite us to acknowledge God as sovereign King and gentle Shepherd.
But this morning as I continued reading, I noticed something I hadn’t seen when reading this passage at other times. The last half of verse 7 says, “If only you would listen to his voice today!” The passage goes on to say, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did…They refuse to do what I tell them. So in my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest’” (vv. 10-11).
These words caught my attention. They remind me how easy it is to know spiritual truth in one’s head but lack spiritual reality in one’s heart, to give mental assent to God’s greatness while spurning His commands. The consequence? We bypass the opportunity to possess the rest of soul and peace of mind He longs for us to experience.
As I navigate deep waters of a physical nature, it’s easy for me to say that God is sovereign, good, and loving. But will I do what He says and give thanks in the midst of my circumstances? Will I worship Him and count every difficulty as an opportunity for joy? Or will I worry about the possible outcomes and resent the inconvenience and pain?
If you’re experiencing hardship, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Doing the latter only breeds hardened hearts, negativity, and fear. But kneeling before the Lord and worshiping Him in the midst of pain brings hope. And doing what He says—giving thanks despite the pain, for instance—rewards us with inner rest and peace.
Whatever difficulties we face, let’s honor God with our response. Let’s kneel before Him in worship, and let’s obey His command to give thanks in everything and choose joy. Then we’ll experience the rest He longs to give us.
Photo courtesy: Elizabeth Michel — http://www.etsy.com/shop/PrintersDaughter