Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Be Not Far From Me…Please!!!

Submitted by Lara Cook
Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. Psalm 22:11

As a Christian, I always feel like I have this responsibility to have this enormous sized faith and never fret or worry about anything that comes my way.  I realized recently that I do have great faith in God but I am fearful of what He will allow to happen in my life.  I know that He is powerful enough to stop any tragedy or illness or suffering of any kind.  I know that He can keep anything bad from ever happening to me or anyone I love.  But I also know that He allows trials and He uses them for His purpose.
David was a man after God’s own heart but he still suffered plenty.  Some of his suffering was a consequence of his sin but he had some trials that were just a general result of being alive, because after all, if you are alive, trials will come.  In the verse above, David was in the middle of a huge passage of lament where he was crying out to God in desperation.  The chapter starts with David crying out “Why have you forsaken me?” He is crying out to God and God is silent.  He has no rest or peace in his groaning, but still, nothing. He tries to rationalize in his mind why God has forsaken him and he begins to process all the reasons.  First, he reasons that God just must not really be all that powerful.  He is not capable after all. But then he remembers how God was there for his ancestors and helped them, so that cannot be the reason.  Then he begins to believe that he is just so unworthy that God must think of him as a worm and think him worthless of His help.  But then he remembers that God brought him into this world and he has belonged to God as long as he can remember so that cannot be the reason.  Then he says:
Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help.  Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me. They open wide their mouth at me, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; It is melted within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and you lay me in the dust of death. Or dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; they divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots. Psalm 22:11-18
He has nothing left.  He has no strength and he realizes that this struggle he is in is not going to just disappear.  So he says to God, Be not far from me, for trouble is near.”   David realizes that if he is going to experience this trial, at least he wants God with him, by his side.
This story reminds me of a parent who is called in by a child in the night that is afraid.  They are afraid of imaginary things all around them but in their mind they are very real.  As a parent, you may go to your child to comfort them by being near them. We don’t go in with swords and slay dragons and fight evil clowns or whatever is scaring them.  We just simply go to them and stay with them until they fall asleep or calm down.  David realized that if he was going to go through this struggle, at least he wanted God near him.  If he couldn’t make it all go away instantly, he asked be not far from me! I don’t know about you, but I don’t ever think of this perspective when I am in a bad place.  My prayer is usually Lord please fix this ASAP!!! By now I am getting the picture.  He is not going to just wave His magic wand and change everything instantly.  But it does make great sense to me that everything is for a purpose and if I am to go through something hard, let me see the lesson and Lord, please do not be far from me!  Please hold my hand and hold me up when I can’t do it myself.  Please walk with me through the fire and stay with me in the storm.  He will.  He did if for David and David’s ancestors and yours and mine as well.  He will be there for you and I when we need Him too.
Scripture to Claim:
For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. Psalm 22:24

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