Feel With Your Heart as You Describe With Your Mind

Good morning. And, so far, it is still a “good” morning. It is also still April 9, 2015.

I am up, having my coffee, and getting ready to head back up to the hospital. I have spoken to Christi, who stopped by on her way to work. My father is doing “okay.” By that, I mean, he’s not worse, and my mother seems to think he’s even a little better than last night. By the way, Christi came home a lot earlier than I did, and got to sleep earlier. But she also got up two hours earlier, so she is at least as tired as me.

I’m going to have a brief devotional, so I thought I would go ahead and write something here. I’m foregoing the trivial things, this morning; I hope all will forgive me for that.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.
O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:1-5

“However much God may terrify and humble his faithful servants with manifold signs of his displeasure, he always besprinkles them with the sweetness of his favour to moderate and assuage their grief. If they weigh, therefore, his anger and his favour in an equal balance, they will always find it verified, that while the former is but for a moment, the latter continues to the end of life; no, it goes beyond it, for it were a grievous mistake to confine the favour of God within the boundaries of this transitory life.” (John Calvin, in A Heart Aflame)

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Talk to God, Not Just About Him.”

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

I like this reading, and agree with it 100%. When we read Psalm 23, we can learn a lot about how to do this. In the first three verses, David refers to God as ‘he,” talking about him:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Then, in verses 4 and 5, he switches, referring to God as “you,” talking to him:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

In verse 6, he switches back to talking about God:

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

What we learn from this, is that we should never talk very long about God without talking to him. As Christians, we are, in effect, “amateur theologians,” and we speak about God to each other frequently. This is not a bad thing, we should definitely be doing this. But we should interweave this theology with prayer. When we speak to someone and say, “God is generous,” we should follow it with a prayer of thanksgiving. When we speak of God’s glory, we should quickly follow with a prayer of adoration.

“What I have come to see is that this is the way it must be if we are feeling God’s reality in our hearts as well as describing it with our heads.”

Father, this morning, it is difficult for me to pray for anything other than healing. But, even during this crisis, I must not confine my heart to one thing. I pray for more of an attitude of prayer during times that I talk about you to others. When I proclaim, “God is good!” may I quickly remember to give thanks for your goodness. When I appreciate your glory and majesty in a beautiful sunrise or sunset, may I quickly shout out a prayer of praise and adoration. I pray that our speech when we are gathered together will be peppered with prayers of praise, thanksgiving, and adoration as we discuss your attributes. Let us not only talk about you, but talk to and with you.

I pray for this day, and whatever it may bring with it. May your will be done on earth as in heaven, which is a terribly difficult prayer to pray on this day. But your grace has prepared us for whatever may come. We do pray for healing, ultimately, and hope that things will be okay with my father. There has now been a third CAT scan, and we have not heard anything from doctors yet. I pray for good news, this morning.

Give us safe travel to the hospital this morning.

Your grace is sufficient.

Remember to talk to God as you talk about him. And thank you again for your many prayers and good thoughts. My love goes out to this community!

Grace and peace, friends.

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