Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
For any thing that causes anguish God has an answer and a solution. It is very common at certain times in our lives to find ourselves going through desert wastelands having lost our orientation. The time it will take us to get out of that desert will depend on the stubbornness with which we cling to old ways of doing things, which we know do not work but continue to carry out by not daring to do something different and more aligned with what God commands in His word. The enemy is in charge of bombarding our minds with thoughts of low self-esteem to make us believe, by the endless repetition of his lies, that we can not change or learn to behave in a way that pleases God. Several times I have found in the leadership literature that a definition of insanity is to continue doing the things that end up in failure, expecting to obtain a different result. I think that this definition also applies to folly and it is not surprising since both words, madness and folly, are often used interchangeably.
Are you moving in circles without achieving any progress? Have you ever wondered if the reason for this lies in the manner or direction you’re moving? Are you planning to do things or trying to resolve issues as they come? Have you consulted with God why you are stuck in the road? Are you doing things properly? Often the causes of our slow progress toward spiritual maturity are inappropriate behaviors that we refuse to give up either because we like doing things that way or because we have not bothered to find out what God wants us to do. In a situation like the one shown in the verse of today’s reflection, the Holy Spirit of God inspired the psalmist to let us know the solution to such a serious matter: “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.” What is taking you so long to bring your case before the loving presence of your heavenly Father? That is the only place where you will find both guidance and solution to get you out of stagnation. Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged Christianity, city, desert, ebb away, God, hungry, life, settle, spirituality, thirsty, wander, wasteland
He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
God is the ultimate provider. He opens his hand and the creation is satisfied and if he closes it all perish. Life as we know it is only possible where there is water. Astronomers spend a lifetime looking at the vast universe and trying to find a place where life is possible, as it is on earth. So far they have found in other solar systems several planets presumably with similar conditions on earth. Some think that these planets would be good places to which to escape and use as shelters in case the earth’s resources are depleted and humanity cannot longer survive in her. They are not concerned at all about the inability to travel through space to those distant places because of the astronomical distances and the limitations imposed by physical laws. Imagination is enough for them.
The beasts and the wild animals are smarter than these stubborn and feverish scientists who work with numerous hypotheses and theories, but never manage to reach the truth. The animals know who feeds them and who gives them water to drink. They praise God at all times with different sounds according to their species but in any case praising the Lord God of creation. And you? Have you thought about joining the universal chorus of creatures, items and objects that praise God for having created and allowed life to exist? Life is not a right but a privilege that depends on the grace and good will of God. Let us always recognize that without him we are nothing and there is nothing we can do. Celebrate the gift of life as an integral part of God’s creation. To God alone be the glory!
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the LORD will reward you.
Humans classify people around them, known and related, in two broad categories: enemies and allies. All is seen in terms of war and we look at everybody else as people who support us or as people who oppose us. Those who think like us and therefore are friends and those who assume positions different from ours automatically become our greatest adversaries. We see everything from the utilitarian point of view. If a person is useful for our purposes we consider him as an ally and if the person does not contribute towards achieving our goals we consider him as a personal enemy. The way we treat our neighbor depends on which category he belongs, all in accordance with this simplistic classification to which we subject him.
This is not the way that God has taught us to behave through his word. He has shown us something profoundly more radical that flows counter-current to the practices of the world. According to what God teaches us, our love can not be oriented according to our understanding of the world or to the rationale we use to classify people as enemies or friends. Treatment should be equal for both because God commands it. As with all of God’s commandments, obedience brings blessings and rewards but they do not come until we have fulfilled our part of the agreement which is to obey God. Let’s not see our neighbor through the glass of the categories and let us share with them the love God has poured into our hearts, regardless of the position they hold in relation to ours. Enough of hatred, envy and war. Let us obey the Master. To God alone be the glory!