Tired Of Drifting?

Psalm 46:11, “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.”

How in the world did I ever get myself into this mess?

Surely, I’m not the only person who has ever asked themselves that question. The day started off just like any other. Everything seemed to indicate that it was going to be another day of smooth sailing. No major problems on the horizon. No dark and ominous clouds. No storms. No struggles. Not a care or a worry in sight. But then, seemingly without warning, we discovered ourselves washed ashore, run aground, shipwrecked.

I think that all of us have experienced that reality at some point in time. We probably weren’t in an actual boat but we have been there in the spiritual realm. Once upon a time we had purpose. We had mapped out a plan for our lives. We were moving in a specific direction, following Christ, sailing along with God. But then we began to drift. The life that was once filled with intentional living was now defined by aimless wandering. With regard to spiritual matters we were all over the map as the circumstances of life blew us from one emotion to another. The horizons of joy, peace and love became increasingly distant. The friends and family with whom we once shared intimate fellowship were no longer in sight. Troubles, trials, and temptations had carried us away and set us adrift until all of a sudden we woke up one morning to realize we were completely lost and all alone.

If that scenario accurately describes your present situation, then the Bible has some words of hope and encouragement for you. Take a look at Hebrews 2:1 for example. “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.” One way to deal with our tendency toward drifting is to focus on the truth we have already heard and received. In other words, focus your attention on what you know to be true. Give diligence to past lessons learned. Don’t allow foundational truths to leave your line of sight. As much as we all try to avoid it, repetition has incredible value. Especially in the spiritual arena. Keeping His promises in the forefront of our minds serves as an anchor during those difficult times. When the storm winds begin to blow we are safe from drifting because His Word keeps us stationary.

Personally, I think that is one of the reasons why the Psalms are so prone to repetition. (Yes, I understand that many Psalms served as songs in OT worship. In that regard the repetition is part of the intended structure that was inherit in their religion.)  You and I can never hear words of truth too many times. With regard to the truths concerning God and His character the more we hear the better off we will be in the long run. And so, Psalm 46 redirects our attention is the closing verse to the glory and grandeur of our God. As it comes to an end we are reminded that our God is powerful. And perhaps more importantly, we are reminded that our God is personally involved in our lives.

We all need to remember that our God is not some secondary entity. He is not a minor deity. He is the Lord of hosts, the One who commands all the armies of the universe. He is sovereign. He is supreme. We all need to be reminded that God is with us. Not distant. Neither detached nor disinterested. Not far removed from the troubles of our daily living. He is very present in our time of need. We all need to focus on the truth that He is our refuge from the storms of life. When the winds blow and the waters rise we are safe and secure in Him. When the enemy attacks we have a hiding place. He is our stronghold.

The news of my wife’s cancer 3 weeks ago hit our family like a hurricane. During the past few weeks I have been tempted to drift. But despite my human frailties God has been my anchor in the midst of the storm. Honestly? I have been amazed, even dumbfounded by our response these past 3 weeks. Understand, I am not saying “look at us.” The past 3 weeks have been a testimony not to our strength but to His faithfulness. We have known gladness even as the enemies of fear and uncertainty surrounded us. We have known peace in spite of an all out barrage of worst case scenarios and uncertainties regarding a future we cannot predict. Psalm 46 in particular has been an elixir of hope and encouragement to cure the poisons of despair and apathy. His Word and His promises have proven to be true. 100% true. He has been our very present help in trouble. This storm has not moved us from our trust in Him because He has been in our midst. Repeatedly, He has raised His voice and melted our fear and worry. In it all and through it all He has proven Himself to be the Lord of hosts, the One who is ever with us, our stronghold.

Without a doubt we would have opted out of the cancer had we been given a choice. But this current trouble has in no way invalidated the promises of God. Quite the opposite actually. At a time when we should have drifted far off course and ran aground we have discovered ourselves to be both safe and secure. God has proven Himself faithful once again in our lives. His promise is true. He is a very present help in trouble.