He Hears

We all have had bad days. Some of us have had bad days that last for weeks and months at a time. We know the difficulties of discouragement and the darkness of despair. We’re not alone in our heartache. In Psalm 6, the psalmist says he is “languishing” (Psalm 6:2, ESV) and that his “bones are shaking” (Psalm 6:2, CSB). He recounts how he has cried himself to sleep every night (6:6) and how his eyes have swollen shut from his weeping (6:7). But, in his heartache, he finds hope. He finds it in God’s steadfast love (6:4). He knows that God has heard his weeping and pleas (6:9-10).

We’ve all felt this kind of pain and shed these kinds of tears. And, by God’s grace, the same hope and help that comforted the psalmist can comfort us. In the darkness of our despair, we feel alone and isolated. We wonder if anyone cares or if anyone is listening. We wonder if there is any way out of the pit we’re in. The psalmist reminds us that there is. The One who created the universe created you in His image. He hears your cries. He knows your heartache. And, He can help. He can lift your gaze off your circumstances and onto Him. He can give you a new perspective that sees beyond your context to the God who holds all things in His hands. Cry out to Him. Trust in Him. Rest in His steadfast love.

Guarding Our Devotion

Book heart

When Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away to follow other gods. He was not wholeheartedly devoted to the LORD his God, as his father David had been. 1 Kings 11:4 CSB

Solomon’s heart was pulled in many different directions in his old age. As a result, he was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord. This is a temptation we all face as we age. While the impetus for our drift may be different than Solomon’s, we all know the pull of the world as we get older. Family, financial pressures, worry, career, health, leisure, and so forth all beckon us to make them the priority in our lives. As they do, we are caught up in a tug of war for our time and energy. Sadly, for many of us, our devotion to the Lord is the first thing we lay on the chopping block. Our commitment wanes and our attention is pulled in new and important (or so it seems) directions. Thus, we too find ourselves not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord.

What do we do about such things? It would do us well to regularly examine our hearts for the things that erode our devotion and pull us away from the Lord. These things are idols of our own making. A good place to begin this is to evaluate how we spend our time and resources. These expenditures often reveal the true priorities of our lives.

When we discover the distractions in our lives, we need to pull down those idols. We need to begin to make changes in how we do things. We manage our time and steward our money differently.¬†Often, our idols good things given wrong priority. If that’s the case, let’s shift some things around so these good things are once again slotted in their proper place.

If we find that our family has become an idol or our penchant for recreation pulls us away from the Lord, we need to do make some adjustments. We probably don’t need to eliminate our family time or we quit taking vacations. But perhaps we do re-evaluate how we are engaging these things. Perhaps we find ways to deepen our devotion to the Lord with our family or use some of that down time for ministry or personal growth.

The last thing we want to do is rest on our past devotion while letting our hearts grow cold and our passion for the Lord wane as we move through life. Let’s be on guard that we finish well. May our greatest days and deepest devotion be ahead of us.