Preserve–more than just save. When you preserve something, you prepare it in such a way as to keep it. Old pictures. Pickles. Antiques. To preserve these things, one takes extra care with them to protect them from the elements that would lead to their decay or destruction. Yes, God. Preserve me. Please. Protect me. From myself, mostly. But also from the deceiving one. And from my pull to sin; to self-destruct. Preserve me, God.
I have no good. No. Good. Apart from you. You, alone. Nothing else, no one else. You alone are all my good.
God, we run after little “g” gods so quickly. So easily. We run to things that money buys, thinking that we will finally find peace in them. Sometimes we do this out of rebellion against You, the only true God. But sometimes we do this because we believe erroneous things about you–that you are not near. Even when we know that you are. Sometimes we do this because the little “g” gods have such a strong pull. But our sorrows; that truly were already there before we chase these little “g” gods, multiply in intensity.
And we pour out their drink offerings.
But you are my chosen portion. Chosen. But is that truth? Because, did you not choose me, God? You did, and yet there was, to an extent–and is, to an extent–a choosing on my part as well. A choice to repent. Daily. A choice to worship. Daily. A choice to obey. Daily. And so–you are my chosen lot. You are my cup, far more satisfying than other cups I find myself reaching for.
Because other cups leave me thirsty. So thirsty. I know this, and yet I still reach for them, because I am so thirsty.
You are the only living water, which quenches this thirst.
You are my chosen cup. Help me to choose You.
You hold my lot.
You. Are. Sovereign.
And my inheritance is beautiful. There will be a day.
Who am I, that I should bless the Lord? And yet, I shall. I shall, because “bless” has two meanings. One is to ask God to care for and protect another person. But the other is to praise and glorify. That is what You desire God. And so, I shall. I will bless you, though my blessing is oh, so inadequate and fraught with the blue-tinge of sin and failure. But I will bless You. You, alone, are God.
And, from You I will take my counsel. From Your word. Because, where else shall I go? To whom else shall I go? There is no one, apart from You, to give me counsel. Thank you, for scripture. Thank you, for Your word.
And, in the night, in the long short nights, I will fight to set you before me. To set my mind on you, and not upon the hard things.
And I shall not be shaken.
Why are you downcast, O my soul? No. No, my soul will be glad, and will rejoice. Because joy is not happiness. Joy is deeper. Just ask my Uncle Lewis, who said this: “I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for Joy.” (Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis). I don’t want the substitutes. I want the thing. The joy. And only in that joy, can I dwell secure.
For You Will Not Abandon My Soul.
Please, let that be truth.
The path seems foggy right now, God. The path ahead, which seemed so clear just six months ago, is now not so clear any longer. Make it known to me, God. Yes, the path long-term, of what being a Christ-follower looks like, but also the short-term. Tonight. Tomorrow. Next Week.
The next hour.
And, help me to sense your presence. That You are near. These words, by Paul Maxwell over at Desiring God, are truth: “If there’s one adjective that accompanies God’s love more than anything in Scripture, it’s this: “steadfast” (1 Kings 8:23; 2 Chronicles 6:42; Psalm 36:7; 42:8). He’s not inconsistent. He’s not unreliable. And he’s not removed.”
You are not removed.
Really, are there any sweeter words, than that?
Except for maybe “You are forgiven”
Oh God, at your right hand. That is where I long to be. To sit. In fullness of joy; forevermore.