Sunday, September 25, 2016

My Continual Resort





I sit in an airport in Southeastern Tennessee.  It is 6:30 in the morning.  A man at the end of a long row of chairs plays on his cell phone.  A woman a few chairs next to him works on her computer.  One couple leans against each other, yawning, attempting sleep. 

It’s the South and a fairly God-friendly area.  Every person we’ve offered a tract to has taken it, even the woman behind the counter at the coffee shop where I had just stopped—although she didn’t offer a hearty “Thank yew!!” as most people had.  

The airport is still fairly empty.  I know that in a few hours it will be bustling with people; but now it lies sleepily, just like the morning dawn, which is barely painting the eastern sky in hues of the darkest indigo and crimson. 

As I read Psalm 73 today, I find myself empathizing emphatically with its writer, who wants to let God be his trust, asking that he never be put to confusion or shame.  Later he prays that God might open an escape route from whatever difficulties he has endured.  Then he petitions, “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress" (Psalm 71:3).


God, my continual resort.  I like that.  The day before we'd been hiking in the Smokies, enjoying vistas of breathtaking beauty.  Meandering along trails shaded by canopies of overhanging branches of fir trees, we'd emerged into sunlight every half mile or so to feast our eyes upon tree-clad mountains, which dipped in ridges as far as the eye could see.  “Day unto day uttereth speech" (Ps. 19:2).  And certainly those traversing these trails have much general revelation to draw them nearer to God.


Billowing clouds overhung the mountains, offset by the azure blue of the sky.  When we reached our destination, a gorgeous overlook with the unsightly name of “Charlie’s Bunion,” my husband scaled a rock face and sat atop an amazing summit.  We ate our lunch from a rocky bluff that granted us a spectacular view. 


Enjoying vistas such as these reminds me of other grand perspectives I have witnessed while vacationing in Yosemite, trekking the Grand Canyon, and hiking the Himalayas.  But in God, such wonder can be a way of life, not merely a vacation experience.  He is the One to whom we can continually resort. 

Continually.  Looking up that word with the help of Accordance Bible software, I note that in the Hebrew, continually is linked to the notion of burning, an effervescent glow that never fails to generate energy.  No matter the circumstance, we too can go continually to God and He, in return, can be our “strong habitation”—the One who provides strength for the journey that is life.  He is our shelter in storm, our resort in joyful times, and our abiding confidence in any experience.  We can go to Him.  Continually.  The psalmist got that.  He understood just how much God could clarify life’s journey, bringing it into crystal clear perspective.  At this particular time, whatever was happening, the psalmist was “as a wonder unto many.”  Many individuals saw him as an oddity, something out of the ordinary, strange.  But he affirmed, “Thou [God] art my strong refuge" (verse 7).  Regardless of others’ perspective concerning him, he had determined to meditate upon this truth:  God would be the One to Whom he would resort.  Because he experienced this view of God, the psalmist could ask God to fill him with praises:  “Let my mouth be filled with Thy praise and with Thy honor all the day” (verse 8).


The situation about him had not gotten any different, as verses 10-13 indicate, but the psalmist had set his heart to “hope continually” and to “praise [God] more and more” (verse 14).  Choosing to focus on God made this man strong.  No matter what his enemies said or how they set themselves against him, he was determined to praise the Lord.  Greatly rejoicing in Him and His salvation, singing to God, and talking throughout the day about Him—these actions would characterize him.

In his commentary on this Psalm, Spurgeon beautifully summarizes, “God is the circle where praise should begin, continue, and endlessly revolve, since in him we live, and move, and have our being.”

Back in the airport as I noticed people walking, sitting, and playing with their electronic devices, I wondered what each one thought of God.  So many today are angry at Him, frustrated by His ways, doubting or questioning His existence.  And yet He gives us all good things.  The air we breathe.  The organs in our bodies that function each second.  The various systems that keep us operating.  Consider the amazing food supply in which we partake daily.  A simple apple reminds us of the provision of our God.  Which apple grower first planted the tiny apple seedling?  Where is the orchard located where the bushels of apples are now harvested?  How many people handled that apple before you purchased it?  

In this network of supply in our modern world, we can easily take for granted the amazing gifts of God.  Let us never fail to wonder at His provision!  Let us ever praise Him for every good and perfect gift.  

Truly from God’s hand comes every physical and spiritual blessing.  To behold God is to get a glimpse of this reality, to be enchanted by Hm and overcome by His existence.

For He is God.  The One in Whom we can find continual resort.


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