Saturday, April 30, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Psalm 68:5-6

Father to the fatherless ...
God places the lonely in families;
he sets the prisoners free
and gives them joy.
Psalm 68:5-6
 
On Easter, I shared with the congregation that I believe that too many people -- maybe 90+% of us -- are having a major identity crisis. A handful of us are too proud, self-centered, and arrogant. But more of us are worried, fearful, insecure, beaten-down, discouraged, guilt-ridden, discouraged, depressed, and betrayed. Either way -- too sure or too unsure of ourselves -- too many of us have a major identity crisis. Indeed, what's the phrase that strikes you?
 
My heart is attuned to this again because I've already been working today with a friend who needs the truth of today's verse. Look at the key words. This individual is lonely and imprisoned. Family is a touchy subject -- a source of deep scars. And freedom and joy seem absolutely allusive.
 
The key to our identity is that God is our Father -- indeed, Father to the fatherless. Notice the capitalization. God is the uppercase ideal, while all earthly fathers -- even the good ones -- sin and fall short. God is the one who will never hurt, betray, abandon, or abuse. He loves, guides, forgives, and blesses.
 
And because our heavenly papa is also the king, he also gives us the kingdom and authority and power and privilege. God wants to bless you and me, but when we let the earth ... and our past ... and our shortcomings ... and lies ... and pride ... and depression define us, we'll never achieve the blessings assured in this Psalm -- freedom and joy.
 
To what degree is your heart bound by any of these negative words? The uppercase, always gracious Father wants to unleash your true identity -- child of God -- and give you the kingdom of joy.
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy who wears a big S on his chest 
(my true identity is son of god) 
--------------------------
Despite the past few months where so much has changed in me ... I still have many moments where I wonder if it would be better if I'd just give in to the depression. Then I get a reminder like the sermon on Easter Sunday or this post - that God LOVES me and wants me to let Him free me from the darkness of this depression. And give me joy!

I do have to constantly remind myself of my true identity. And ask God to give me the strength to not slip into the darkness of that prison. But the joy is so wonderful!!

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