Thursday, October 22, 2015
Psalms 57:7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.
In October of 2007, a huge storm called a nor’easter hit the east coast of America. Heavy rains, high tides, and strong winds destroyed homes along the coast and flooded coastal towns. From Florida to Maine people living near the Atlantic Ocean were affected. Even professional sports took a hit. The final round of the PGA golf tournament in Hilton Head South Carolina had to be cancelled because the winds made it impossible for the golf balls to stay in place on the greens. Several golfers were blown off their strides as they walked, and crashing tree limbs injured the tournament Marshall and put spectators and players at risk. Everyone had to come in from the storm.
Living part of my life in the Dakotas, I know what strong winds are. I’ve been on the golf course while the winds blew at 35-40 miles per hour. I’ve actually had to adjust the line of putts at the hole just to play the wind. I’ve had to lean heavily to one side or the other as I walked just to stay standing. But while all external forces from above and around me were attempting to knock me off of my feet, I knew that the ground under me wasn’t going to fail me and that I had a solid foundation upon which to stand.
That may have been true of the part of South Dakota where I lived, but it isn’t true everywhere. Imagine what it must be like to live in an area prone to earthquakes. When the ground itself begins to shake, where can we stand? At such times, how can we consider ourselves to be steadfast?
Soon-to-be King David must have felt that way when he was pursued by King Saul in an attempt to eliminate the apparent successor to his throne. God had promised David that he would be King, but here he was, hiding out in a cave in the rocks seeking to avoid detection. While deep in the cave, struggling to find meaning and purpose for this latest attack on his life, David wrote the fifty-seventh Psalm – a Psalm filled with confidence in the steadfast love of God. David was so convinced of God’s faithfulness that he said, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.
I dare not pretend to have reached that point in my life yet, where I can sing and make music when under attack. Yet when the storms of life begin to influence us and shake us to our foundation, we can say with King David that we are steadfast.
The Hebrew word that God chose for David to use here to describe his spiritual condition is the word kun, which means to stand erect. I know there are many times in my life when I am not feeling very steadfast and I am certainly not standing very straight. But one thing remains constant – the foundation upon which I stand cannot be shaken or moved.
No matter who is pursuing me or persecuting me, God’s love is greater and reaches to the heavens.
No matter what falls apart or fails in my life, God’s faithfulness reaches to the skies.
No matter how shaken my emotions and how uncertain I am of my ability to stand against the forces that oppose me and hurt me, my heart can remain steadfast because it trusts in God who is exalted above all else.
When storms hit, we seek refuge. Wise people seek refuge in storm-tested places of security. When the waters rise, only fools go into the valleys. When tornadoes strike, only fools go to the top floor. Only a fool builds a tree house and calls it a hurricane shelter. Wise people know where to go for the greatest security.
The same is true spiritually. When the storms of life hit and a crisis occurs, only fools climb into the tree house of their own knowledge for solutions. No matter how well-equipped the tree house is with all the latest innovations of man to solve man’s problems, it is still only as strong as the tree to which it is nailed. Someday a storm is coming that will destroy your tree.
Maybe your tree is being shaken pretty hard right now. Be wise. Climb down from your precarious perch of pride and run to the Rock that cannot be moved. God is the refuge that cannot be penetrated. His love and faithfulness are unending and unfailing. While the winds howl and the trees are broken apart, our hearts can be steadfast – we can stand upright when all else around us is being blown away.
Our ability to stand depends in part on what we decide to exalt in our lives. If we exalt self and our solutions, then we will be shaken and stunned to silence. But if we exalt God in our lives just as He is exalted above all the heavens, and if we live for His glory on the earth, then we will sing and make music because we are steadfast.
The choice is ours. Let’s cancel our plans, and come in from the storm.