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One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
Niki’s post earlier in the week gave me a new way to look at a shepherd and sheep. Western open-range sheep enjoy freedom during the summer but need their shepherd during the winter when food and safety are harder to come by. These aren’t the passive, easily led domestic sheep that we often think of, and they don’t like that transition from freedom to submission, but it’s in their best interest to be under the shepherd’s care.
Psalm 27 reminds me of how we too enjoy our freedom until, like those who run under a shelter during a storm, we find ourselves in a torrent of trouble and turn to our source of protection.
If we truly knew our value to Him, we wouldn’t wander so far in the first place. When we function inside His will, in obedience and love, our way is easier, our goals more easily obtained . . . If we truly knew our value to Him, we wouldn’t waste so much energy trying to do things on our own.
Troubles will come, just like rainstorms, but those things that cause us sorrow, loss, pain come only by permission from God. They will never overcome His plan for us and are always of use to Him to bless others and make us more like Him. Trouble is never desired and is never comforting but I don't know of any I've had that haven't brought me closer to Him or matured me in some way. Or shown me how much He loves me.
Often, it's our own disobedience that takes us wandering far from shelter. He hasn’t moved away, we have. And although we can never actually go so far away that He’s not there alongside us, waiting, our actions make the way back into His will for us bumpier than it needed to be.
Draw near. Don’t wait.
Lord, keep us close. And when we wander, remind us with small soft rain drops to head for your shelter before the worst of the storm arrives.
I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.