watchful eyes

 

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Watering:

 

David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there.  All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.

1 Samuel 22:1-2

 

Watching:

David left. He boogied. Exit stage left… He fled.

He didn’t take anything with him.

He wasn’t trying to build an army, or make a case for his “cause.” He was escaping. Into a cave… and people around him were watching.

Here was a once great and mighty king

now in distress,

unable to be content or at peace where he was

… like them.

Someone who could see life from their side of the lens.

This man, they were willing to follow.

 

Wondering:

When life is hard, escape has its place and its purpose… and God has his.

 

I wonder,

how many people are looking toward me when hard times come – hoping for a glimpse of what life, when it’s tough, looks like for someone who claims the ear of God?

 

I wonder,

if all of David’s trials weren’t mainly for those waiting, watching, hoping with every cell of their being, that his God could be real for them as well?

 

Waiting:

Lord, don’t let me ever think that this is all about me. Give me an eye and a heart for those “in distress, in debt or discontent” … Let my life lead them to the One who never leaves. Never forsakes. Always loves.

 

Watering Today

Prov 26; ps 26, 126, 1 Samuel 22; 1 Kings 10,11;  Acts 26

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Here on this rickety, rocking boat

 

DSCN3494Watering:

In the Lord I take refuge…
     

Watching:

David found security, shelter and confidence in the Lord His God. He found his unwavering foundation and Truth that guided every moment of Life.

That didn’t mean he didn’t get scared. It didn’t mean he didn’t voice his concern, or his questions. It didn’t mean he shied away from working out conflict with Truth vs.”Oh, let’s just smile and not rock the boat.”

What it meant was:

David knew who he could trust with his heart

and with his emotions

and with every part of his life.

David had learned to exchange the “truth” of what his physical eyes were telling him with The Truth of what God was saying.

He found Truth and safety in who he had spent a lifetime learning God to be: Creator, Savior, Shepherd Compassionate Patient One, Everlasting Father, Defender, his Rock, a shelter in the storm…

 

David spent his whole self falling in love

with the Maker of heaven and earth and lowly shepherd boys.

 

Wondering:

If God is my refuge, what can this life’s circumstances do to me?

What can floods, hurricanes, crazy drivers and even crazier students have anything to do with the inside part of me that matters for Life beyond this earthsuit?

If the God of Eternity is my hiding place, then real Life goes on and on and on beyond the wrinkles and joint pain. It goes soaring past the heartache of loss and the fears that try to grip my mind and take me out. It goes past my own limited and dying flesh.

If I have truly learned to take shelter in this God who bought my way past the darkness of this world – who is even now using his carpenter skills to build me the mansion of my dreams,

If I know the God whom I’ve believed – the One who knows me and loves me anyway

… then my confidence is rock solid

and I can rest in this old rickety, rocking boat

snuggled close to the beat of his heart.

Waiting:

Jesus, the beat of your heart is a lulling rhythm for my soul – no more seasickness for me! The lapping of the waves, the peace of your presence… calming me through storms that comes my way. Let me always remember whose arms to snuggle into for the only peace that will ever matter, that will ever last.

Watering Today

Prov 30; ps 30, 130, 60; Revelation 15-18

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A Not-so-secret Hideout

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Watering:

Psalm 11

 In the Lord I take refuge;
how can you say to my soul,
“Flee like a bird to your mountain,

The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord’s throne is in heaven;
his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.
The Lord tests the righteous,
but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
Let him rain coals on the wicked;
fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
the upright shall behold his face.

Watching:

No one knew how to hide in the Lord like David. He took refuge in Him. Took it. Grabbed it. Absconded it… and then answered anyone who would question his resolve:

“This shelter is mine! I am taking cover in the Lord God Almighty, and I dare anyone to take it away! In fact, I’m so sure about this that I get to “nanner-nanner” you… because this is the God I know. The One who hangs out in perfection, whose throne is in heaven.  The One who hates the wicked violent one! The One who’s gonna give the enemy exactly what he deserves. 

The Lord might test me, but He loves me. He makes me righteous because of who He is,and what He’s done… This is the One who sees me, hides me, shelters me

… so how can you say, flee like a bird…”

Yes, David knew how to take refuge in God

Wondering:

So now the question I suppose would be: “How?”

How does one take refuge in God? What does that look… really? Do I scrunch up my face, chant some Alleluias and run naked down the street? I mean really, what does “taking refuge” look like?

We take refuge in what we know to be true.

We take refuge in what we trust to be safe. 

David didn’t learn how to take refuge in the Lord overnight. But, I guarantee, it was in the overnights where he did learn:

Watching over lion-stalked sheep. Running from jealous-ridden kings. Grieving in self-induced shame.

You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 27:5

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.

Deuteronomy 33:27

The eternal God is my refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out my enemies before me, saying, ‘Destroy them!’

Psalm 91:2

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”…He will cover me with his feathers, and under his wings I will find refuge; his faithfulness will be my shield and rampart.

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

David took refuge on his knees

and on his knees he found his secret hideout.

Waiting:

Jesus, when Dad was living with us, his Alzheimer-laced mind retreated to his early memories. They were all he had. All his heart of hearts could remember. I see David, too, retreated to his memories. Memories or deliverance. Memories of faithfulness, kindness, mercy and grace. He retreated behind your shield, the cover of your wings. He retreated back to the reassurance of those ‘overnights’ when your word lit each step of his way.

Lord, I want every cell in me to know you more so that my feet run directly to your heart for cover – every time. And my heart will say, this day, this now, I take refuge in you.

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‘Cuz ya know…

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Watering:

Psalm 28

To you, Lord, I call;
you are my Rock,
do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you remain silent,
I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
toward your Most Holy Place.

Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with those who do evil…

Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord
and what his hands have done,
he will tear them down
and never build them up again.

Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

Watching:

Country music has nothing on David’s songs. David mourns and grieves and yearns with the best of them.

“… if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit.” Please, hear me…

David is on his way out. Desperate he calls.

“…don’t drag me away with those that don’t know you…”

And then somewhere between verse 2 and verse 6, David finds life again… How does he do that?

“You heard me! … My heart leaps for joy.”

David’s heart leaps! Shocked back from flat-lining in despair, to a heart that pulses Life again.

From Code Blue to Resuscitated Red.

Somehow David always manages to find that turning place that catapults him from zero to hero – from “down and out” to up and coming straight into the throne room of God. His “put-a-nail-in-the-casket” prayers always transport him to perspective-changing praise.

Because in the thick of things,

David always reminds himself

who loves him,

who made him,

who knows him

… and who’s got his back.

Wondering:

S0 now comes the infamous, “so what about me?” What can I learn from this Israeli country singer?

*          Don’t sugar coat the feelings.

*          Say what you mean, but say it to the One who gives a rip.

*          Wade in and maybe wallow (just a little) and lay it all out – don’t edit a thing.

*          Then start up your own tune – remembering better times, recalling all the ways He’s              brought you through before.

*           And settle into His arms, letting your heart be changed

                               … ‘cuz ya know ya can’t do the resuscitatin’ thing on yer own.                   It’s His work and His work alone.”

Waiting:

Jesus, our hearts – messy, hurt and bleeding hearts – are changed forever in your hands and the praise of our mouth. Lord, help the down-trodden today – those names you know… They need your hope, Lord.

Heck, we all just need You to tell us over and over who we are and who we can always be: loved, forgiven, made new.

Watering Psalms 28, 128; Proverbs 28; Romans 9 

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“The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.” … like me.

 

A New Day Vow

Watering:

Psalm 56

Be merciful to me,my God,
for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
all day long they press their attack.
My adversaries pursue me all day long;
in their pride many are attacking me.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?

All day long they twist my words;
all their schemes are for my ruin.
They conspire,they lurk,
they watch my steps,
hoping to take my life.
Because of their wickedness do not let them escape;
in your anger, God, bring the nations down.

Record my misery;
list my tears on your scroll—
are they not in your record?
Then my enemies will turn back
when I call for help.
By this I will know that God is for me.

 In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can man do to me?

 I am under vows to you, my God;
I will present my thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.

Watching:

David lived an enemy-filled life. A life filled with war and death, and frontline battles no further than his own front door.

Often using his kingly power, and sometimes being played by it, David was always pursuing or being pursued. But down deep, in the nitty gritty dirt of darkened caves, David knew who had the true royal power… and to that Heavenly King, he was under vows:

“I will present my thank offerings to you.”

Wondering:

I’ve never been chased by a literal army. And I don’t imagine you have a target on your back either.  We don’t have an enemy pursuing us at every corner … or do we?

* Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

* For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Mark 13:22)

* And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. (2 Cor.11:14-15)

Prowling. Roaring. Devouring. Deceiving. Masquerading.

This enemy is subtle, sneaky, driven by power-hunger, and dresses in his Sunday best. A defeated, and desperate foe pulling out all the stops to take down as many as he can before his power is no more.

But that’s the point: Right now, his power is no more.

How you have fallen from heaven,
morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!

Those who see you stare at you,
they ponder your fate:
“Is this the man who shook the earth
and made kingdoms tremble,
the man who made the world a wilderness,
who over threw its cities
and would not let his captives go home?” (Isaiah 14: 12-17)

We have overcome by the blood of God’s lamb. Yet, until he is thrown back to the pit of hill, we are easily deceived – just ask Eve.

And we are easily persuaded – just ask Adam.

And we have not been promised a trouble free life – just ask Jesus

So I will follow David’s lead, and grab hold fast and hard to my overcoming King as he whispers his bold-faced strategy, “Be of good cheer!”

And I will make a vow to the Living God.

I will hold my head up and look to the Lord, maker of heaven and Earth from where my help comes and when battles rage, and my enemy laughs… I. Will. Bring. My. Thank. Offerings.

Today. Tomorrow. Forever.

Waiting:

Father, not by might, not by power, but by your spirit … With all my trust poured out in thanksgiving, I will keep my vows to you, because you are worthy.

More Word to water

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A much. bigger. view.

Watering:

Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. (2 Samuel 1: 11-12)

Watching:

David’s trial was over. The one who pursued relentlessly to kill him, was dead.

In one instant, David was freed from years of uncertainty, a lifetime of running and the shame of hiding. And now his stalker was dead –but what did David do? He mourned!

…in spirit and in truth, David mourned.

David’s heart was truly entwined in the heart of God. It wasn’t worked up, or faked… David’s grief was real. When he heard of Saul’s demise, he didn’t see a hated enemy defeated, he saw God’s chosen one slain – a mighty one fallen.

Through all the years, David had looked to his big God to map out each step of his way,

and God, through all the years, was faithful each day – giving David a much. bigger. view.

Wondering:

I can’t help but be amazed by David.

Had a maniac been chasing me, terrorizing me, and stealing years off my life, I would have whooped and hollered when he was gone. And I would have “Glory, Hallelujah-ed” that God had (finally) come through for me. (Then I probably would have tried hard to not mumble under my breath, “What TOOK him so long?!”)

But not David. No, David looked beyond the everyday ‘in your face’ reality. David looked to the heart of God. David saw his ‘enemy’ as God’s beloved.

And, consequently, David willingly embraced temporary ‘inconvenience’ — even for what he often couldn’t understand.

But God understood.

And David knew it.

So David waited, and wrote, and poured out his heart in songs and worship…

And the Lord was pleased… and the view got bigger.

Waiting:

Lord, I don’t have any other words except to simply ask: I want a heart like David’s.

More Word to Water

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Shook, but Unshaken

Watering:

Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.

David said about him: “‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken. (Ps 55)

Watching:

David knew who he was.

More importantly, David knew who God was.

“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Numbers 23:3-19)

And most importantly, David knew who. he. was. in God.

He was chosen,

accepted,

loved,

forgiven,

a conqueror,

a warrior,

a child,

a son,

a king.

God had proved himself faithful over and over and over again in David’s life. Fighting bears. Tackling lions. Killing giants. Building strength. Vanquishing darkness. Revealing Truth. Picking up the pieces after the darkest of failures.

Over and over and over again, there was God – loving the shepherd boy who would be king.

And in the over and over-ness of a faithful God, David’s taproot went deep.

And over and over and over again he would remind himself that he would not be shaken.

Wondering:

The wind is picking up lately in my heart of hearts. Not sure the why of it

…discontent?

…restless?

… focused on the everydays instead of the forevers?

Doesn’t matter the feeling though… because Life marches on and feelings change and sometimes there’s just the chill of a windy sideline.

But here’s the deal. Not being shaken, does not mean that there is no shaking. In fact, I’d say, “There’s a whole (hecka lot) of shaking goin’ on.”

So I’ve concluded: Shaking is inevitable,

but being shaken is not.

I climbed a mountain in Zion a few years back. Or rather I should say, I crept my way – handhold to white-knuckling handhold – on an anchored chain that bore deep into the mountain side. That chain was my lifeline between exhilaration and a certain death. “Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

Every part of me grasped that chain, knowing full well the foolishness if I did not.“Cast your cares on me because I WILL SUSTAIN YOU.”

If I could have grasped the entire rock – melded into its strength -I would have. But I had only the lifeline, and my confidence in the one who created it: I will not let the righteous be shaken.

And we – the weak-kneed, wind blown sojourners – are His righteousness: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21)

David saw the Lord always before him. Within the reach of his right hand. A solid Lifeline. Unflinching. Unshakeable Truth. Going deep, deep and deeper still. Tapping into the unquenchable love of God.

Jesus – the Way, with nails driven deep, lashed to Solid Rock Hope.

Jesus – the Truth, holding steady. Firm. Unmovable.

Jesus – Life beyond the shakes – found deep in the heart of God,

and deep in the heart of me.

My stronghold.

Waiting:

Lord, I will hold on to you.

More Word to white-knuckle

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