Tag Archives: goodness

psalm 34

psalm 34
Have you ever seen the movie, We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story?
That’s what I feel like a lil bit, not having written in a hot minute.
And if you haven’t – go watch it right now. One of the more underrated animated movies of 1993.
Back to the point, Smith.
Hello, world. We continue with your regularly scheduled programming of a look through the Psalms.
Psalm 34.
The header of this psalm in most Bibles is: Taste and See That the Lord Is Good.
If I could describe my greatest desire for the people in my life, it is that they would taste and see that the Lord is good.
A few years ago I had the honor of being on a panel at my church, discussing the importance of reading scripture and why it is such an important part of my relationship with God.
One of the final questions asked was, “What draws you in to Scripture?”
My answer, through tears, was, “I’ve experienced Jesus and I’ve experienced His goodness, and I can’t stay away. I am changed. I am a different person because of the truth of Scripture.”
And the truth is, I truly am a different person because of Jesus.
His Word changes me.
The angel of the Lord encamps around me and delivers me.
The Lord is near to me – the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit.
He delivers me out of all afflictions.
But the trouble in my heart comes when I read David writing things like, “I will bless the Lord at all times…My soul makes its boast in the Lord…”
Because that is def.in.ite.ly not true of me.
Often, I bless myself.
I boast in my own accomplishments.
OR (and this one cuts deep) I wallow in my own self-pity.
My woe-is-me temperament takes full control and all I want to do is sit in a pit of despair, begging for others to join me in my demise.
But then.
I consider Jesus.
And I know in the deepest part of my soul that He truly is near to the brokenhearted.
As Peter said, “Lord, where else should I go? You have the words of eternal life!”
I know David’s words to be true.
I know that God is nearer than any.
I know that He is truer than any.
I know that His mercies are new every morning.
I know that He is more steadfast than I can even wrap my brain around.
And yet.
I doubt His goodness.
Often, because I’ve lost my taste.
I’ve decided to eat the bread that the world offers instead of feasting from the Bread of Life.
On good days, I can proclaim with full confidence that I will hunger no more because of the sustenance that God offers through redemption in Jesus.
On bad days, I can softly whisper that I am fighting to reach the crumbs on the floor – crawling to get back to Jesus’ table side – because I know that only there will I find fullness of life.
But the crawl might give me scrapes on my knees.
The effort often seems too daunting.
It’s hard to comprehend that it’ll be worth it.
Yet.
I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good.
So I’m going to keep fighting for that meal.
Cut up knees and all, I want to keep tasting and seeing that the Lord truly is good.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
Psalm 34
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what do i do when i don’t get the blessing?

blessing blog

I’ve been writing this one in my head for a few weeks, so it’s probably time to put it on internet paper.

With graduations and engagements and weddings and new seasons in general, I’ve seen a lot on social media about God being so good because people are so blessed.

I get really excited when people acknowledge that we serve and are known by a good, loving, gracious, merciful God who gives His children good things.
But I get pretty bummed out when we only acknowledge Him along with completing a degree, getting engaged, receiving a promotion, getting pregnant, starting a new relationship, get a new car…insert “good thing” here.

I believe those things are all good things, and again, it is of utmost importance to recognize that good gifts come from our good God. That, ultimately, we don’t earn or deserve what we have – it has all been given for us to steward and use for God’s glory.

But what happens when I don’t get the blessing?
Is God still good?

What happens when:
I fail a class and have to retake it, putting graduation off for another year…
My boyfriend breaks up with me because he’s just not feeling it anymore…
I receive a formal reprimand because of relational friction in the workplace…
I have miscarriage after miscarriage and just don’t understand why my body isn’t cooperating…
Both of my grandmas get cancer at the same time…
Friends that I thought would be by my side forever have now rejected me and I have no idea why…
My car gets totaled in a hail storm…

Is God still good?

Or have we become a people who condition His love for us, and dare I say, our love for Him, along with what He gives us?

Tonight I’m going to the church I grew up in to open up a youth rally with some worship time. I’m going to play a song that has these lyrics:

Though You slay me, yet I will praise You
Though You take from me, I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me, still I will worship
Sing a song to the One who’s all I need

I’m straight up nervous about this one because I know it will rock some worlds.

“Umm…nah…I’m not interested in that God.”
“If God is good, He wouldn’t take from me.”
“But doesn’t God just want us all to be happy and feel good all of the time?”

James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Do you know what God’s Word says is perfect? God’s love & Jesus’ life.

Jesus is the perfect gift.
Jesus is the good gift.
Jesus is the blessing that none of us deserve but all of us can freely receive.

My blessing isn’t that I receive every material gift I’ve ever wanted and have no hardship in life.

My blessing is that the God of all creation sent His one and only Son to live a life that I cannot live – a life free from sin – die a death that I deserve to die because of my sin and rebellion against His perfection, and raise again on the third day so that I am now made spotless, whole, complete in Him.

I’d rather have that blessing than anything this world has to offer.

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realizing your basically just like an ancient tribe

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(just me waving ‘Hi’ from a corn field. photo creds to the ever-lovely H Mae.)

I’ve been reading through the book of Exodus lately. It’s taking me a while to get through the book, but in a weird way, I’m glad I wasn’t so disciplined and rigid about getting through it in a specific time frame. (Read: I just didn’t read it as regularly as a good Christian would have…) [also, please note sarcasm when you read “good Christian would have…”] {okay, I think I’m done with parentheses/brackets now}

Also, I just saw a motorcyclist drive past Starbucks with a GoPro on his helmet. $3 says he pulls some street trix tonight.

I get distracted easily.

Back to Exodus.

So, I’m reading through and early on in the book I’m just totally blow away by God showing up with His people. I can consistently see Yahweh coming to His people, actively working to redeem them. And I was always like, “YES! I KNOW this God! I see and feel His active redemption in my life too!”

Then I get to the part(s) of the book where the people of Israel decide it’s a good idea to open their mouths. And grumble. And question God. And sorta roll their eyes at Him and complain about dumb stuff.

Specifically in chapter 15 they are complaining about some bitter water. I can sense some smart mouth (probably named Kayla) saying, “Well, what are we gonna do now? What are we supposed to drink?!”

I read that and immediately wrote down, “The people of Israel didn’t give God time to work. They immediately began grumbling.”

Then again, in chapter 17, the issue of water comes up again! Geez Israel, stop being so thirsty!!

Anyways, they move from the wilderness and “there was no water for the people to drink.” They go before Moses and complain, again, and he goes before the Lord on their behalf, again, and God (I imagine) gives Moses a slight eyebrow raise and says, “Watch this…”

God literally tells Moses to hit this random rock with his staff & water will pour out of it. And it does. Water flows from a ROCK. Because, God.

What gets me about this passage though, is what comes in verse 7:

He called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Here’s what Kayla’s scribblings say about this: It’s so funny/amusing to me when Israel doubts God’s presence or goodness during their time of physical need – YET, I am just like that. If I want/desire something physical, material, and God doesn’t give it to me in my time frame, I ask with Israel, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Hi, I’m Kayla, and I am just like ancient Israel.

Israel experienced the plagues in Egypt, walked THROUGH THE RED SEA on DRY GROUND, was led through the wilderness by a pillar of fire and a cloud of smoke…AND THEY STILL QUESTIONED GOD’S GOODNESS.

Kayla has experienced God’s faithfulness in her life in MULTIPLE ways, YET STILL DOUBTS GOD’S GOODNESS!

It is easy to forget how truly good God is when things aren’t going our way – in relationships, jobs, friendships, financially, *insert scenario here*.

I’m not going to pretend like I never get ticked with God. In fact, He and I had a really long conversation last weekend about how mad I was at Him. But you know what? He is still good. He still lovingly draws me in and says, “I know. I know it’s hard for you right now. I know your heart hurts. But just wait until the morning. Wait until you can see what I see.”

I’m holding on to that right now. I may be frustrated. I may be hurt. But I’m holding on to a God who sees the promised land before I do and knows that I will get there in due time.

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