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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Singing in the Shadow

Psalm 63:1-4, 7 "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory. Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands....Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings."

The caption under Psalm 63 in my Bible reads "A psalm of David. When he was in the desert in Judah". You might wonder why David was in the desert - by this time he was King David. Why hang out in the desert? Turns out, he was running for his life and not from just anyone, but from his own son. Absalom had gathered himself an army and decided he was going to overthrow his father. Talk about a desert. David wasn't just wandering physically, he was wandering emotionally and spiritually. This must have been one of the driest, most devastating times of David's life.

Have you ever felt like you were just wandering around in the desert - alone, miserable, relationships ruined? What do you do when your life is dry and barren?

David did what David almost always did. He turned to God in his desert. He acknowledges that God is his God. How much more poignant does verse one become when we read that his soul thirsted for God in a land where there was no water? David's desire for God was desperate. David remembered his history with God - he had beheld God's glory. David knew what God could do and he knew that God could bring him out of his desert place. David remembered how God had loved him and said he would praise Him for the rest of His life. He knew that God was his protection.

When was the last time you were desperate for God? When did you long for him like a dehydrated man longs for water? When did you last physically ache to be in God's presence?

We read yesterday that He aches to hold us - what if we had that same ache, that same desire to be in His presence? In verse 7, David once again talks about the shadow of God's wings. This time that shadow would be a shield from the scorching heat that would sap every last ounce of his strength. Here he would find the rest and renewal that would cause him to break out in song! He knew his provision and protection came from God. He knew that only God could satisfy him, no matter where he was. He knew God was the only way out of the desert.

"Lord, give us the desire for your presence, your provision, and your protection only. Show us Your glory - even in the desert places of our lives. Help us to know Your love. Show us that You are our help and that when we finally find our way to the shadow of Your wings we will find a new song there."

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