Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The Scouts motto is ‘Be Prepared’. I was never a Scout, but their advice is worth taking. But there are some situations in life which no amount of knot tying or fire starting can prepare you for.
How can we be ready for the unexpected?
On Friday 29th July, I was stilling at home pondering Psalm 16 when Sarah told me something wasn’t right with our baby. Within the hour, we were in the car heading for the hospital in Wangaratta. Another hour later, I was sitting outside the operating theatre and Sarah was inside. A few people said hello to me as I sat there in surgical scrubs and a funny hat, obviously waiting to go in. But most of the time I was the only one sitting there.
But I wasn’t alone.
In Psalm 16:8, David tells us how we can be prepared for anything. He says, ‘I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.’ As I sat there, I chewed over those words. Two truths stood out:
- Meditating on God builds my confidence in Him. I must practice thinking about God in every situation all the time.
- Nothing I do is the reason for my confidence. The assurance that He is close by me is a better reason to be at peace than my own ability to deal with problems.
That was a comfort to me. God was with me and my family, and we would not be moved, whatever happened.
David knew this reality. He knew that things don’t always go well. Even when he was being hunted down by his father-in-law, King Saul, when he was betrayed by his own people, and when he was usurped by his son Absalom, God never abandoned him.
Because of this, David was confident that God would be with him even in death (Psalm 16:9-10). Even though he may die, yet he would live forever at God’s right hand enjoying the pleasures He gives (Psalm 16:11). We may die, but we can be confident about the future of our bodies and souls, because God raised Jesus from the dead (Psalm 16:11, Acts 2:22-33, 1 Corinthians 15:17-20).
Jesus promises to be with us (Matthew 28:18-20, see also Joshua 1:8-9), so this confidence can be ours too: the eternal LORD is with His people and will not allow us to be shaken, even if we die (John 11:25-26). Do you believe this?
Yours in Christ’s service,