“OK…when I scratch this call, those turkeys are going to come right over that log. Take your safety off…you good…are you ready? Here we go.”
(My youngest son and I were laying in a shallow ditch in the woods. The turkeys had just left their roost in the trees and were gobbling and squawking. We were maybe 20 yards away behind good cover. I knew they would be on us in a hurry once I “yelped” back to them. I scratched out 2 quick “yelps” and here they came.)
“Shoot the big one in the front I whispered.” At that point, with the barrel of the shotgun a mere 16″ from my head, I plugged my ears and curled up. I heard the sound of the blast and looked up to see turkeys scattering everywhere. The range was maybe 10-12 yards and my little man didn’t hit a thing. I looked at his face as realization dawned…he was devastated. As a dad, I reached out with words of comfort and grace. I assured him that it was OK. I told him about how many elk I had missed, and they were way bigger than a turkey. I tried to use this opportunity to explain that the joys of hunting are more than just the kill…it is the experience, the comradely, the bond that happens between father and son. It is in the knowledge that his disappointment is also shared by his dad and we will carry this burden together. I showed my love for him and my faithfulness to him doesn’t change with missed shots.
We all need to be comforted. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, a grandmother or an elementary student. Where are you this morning? Are you dealing with disease and the potential end of life? Are you struggling in your marriage, or in your workplace? Or are you a young student getting ready to go to school this morning? It doesn’t really matter who you are, we all need comfort. We all need the super-natural comfort that only comes from our Father who is in Heaven. A quick scan of the news and current events reveals that the world around us is still filled with evil. There is still random acts of violence, senseless attacks on the innocent, and enough strife to go around that everyone can get a piece. It is easy to approach these things with our mind and catalog it into some academic file of “Whatever…that’s just the way the world is.”
This morning, lets try to remove the academic blinders of our culture and our society and look upon the world as the Lord Himself sees it. The Lord sees hearts filled with hopelessness. The Lord sees minds filled with idolatry. The Lord sees souls lost in the streams of our counterfeit cultures of correctness. The Lord sees the spirit of His faithful clouded with the trappings of our lives. The Lord sees His people yearning to trust and rest in Him, yet turning away because we don’t know how. This morning, let us turn back to the Living Words of Scripture and follow the blueprint to His Presence and rest.
Pray through this with me this morning, from Psalm 18: 1-3, “I love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.”
In my quiet place, I lift up my heart, soul, and mind to the Almighty. I express my love and yearn for the comfort of knowing…knowing in my inner most being…that my God is my refuge. He shields me from the evil of this world. Behind the walls of His stronghold I am safe. My deliverance and salvation are from Him, by Him, and only because of Him. It is in Him…I trust.
Psalm 46:1-3 says, “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change; And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.”
My Lord my God, as I kneel before You, in humbleness I understand…I understand my strength is Yours on loan. I understand that no matter the evil news of the day, no matter the strife that swirls, You, and only You, are my present help in trouble. Although, the earth may quake, the terrorists may strike, the nations may threaten…You are sovereign over it all. You are God and there is no other.
I pray we let these words from Psalm 71:14-16 fall from our lips, “But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness; And of Your salvation all day long; For I do not know the sum of them. I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness Yours alone.”
Sometimes, when the winds blows evil, and our enemies rise up from the depths of the deep dark places. We just want our Dad. We just want to feel the comforting arms of His embrace and feel the words of encouragement breathed across our ear. We want the assurance of His Presence and the confidence of His calling. We want to rest in his lap and tell Him all that scares us. We want Him to wipe our tears and clear up our disappointment. We want our Heavenly Father to use this opportunity to explain that the joys of Sonship are more than just salvation…it is the experience, the comradely, the bond that happens between Father and son. It is in the knowledge that our disappointment is also shared by our Dad and we will carry this burden together.
Our Father in Heaven is faithful…Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. It is well, it is well, with my soul…it is well. AMEN