Aaron and I were in the middle of watching an episode of The Waltons last night when he pushed the pause button and got up from his chair. He went to the kitchen and soon returned carrying a huge bag of popcorn. We’re talking huge in the sense of Sam’s huge. All I envisioned was Aaron putting his hand into our community bag of popcorn, grabbing a few pieces, and then putting his hand up to and partially into his mouth.
Germs!! My mind could see all those little, microscopic germs being transferred into our huge bag of popcorn. YUCK!
I stopped Aaron in his tracks, told him to pour some popcorn into a bowl, and over his grumbling he went back to the kitchen to do what I had said. It wasn’t long, though, before I heard this:
“Mom, can you come here? I need some help.”
Did he ever! When I walked into the kitchen, there on the floor was a big mess. Aaron had spilled lots of popcorn on the floor. Mom to the rescue! Aaron got the broom, and we were soon able to clean up the mess.
All around me today I see messes. So much upheaval is in our country and the world today. People are suffering and worried and angry. I wish the messes we see were as easy to clean up as Aaron’s popcorn on the floor, but we all know that’s not the case.
I read and studied Psalm 22 this morning. I agree with Dale Davis, who says that David is speaking of his own suffering in this Psalm and yet goes “beyond his suffering and into the suffering of Another.” David’s suffering also spoke of the suffering of Jesus still to come.
Certainly, the suffering of Christ for us is the greatest gift ever given. Yet it’s also in David’s earthly anguish that you and I as followers of Christ can find great comfort as we navigate this dangerous world in which we now live.
I, like David, can look behind me in my years of following the Lord and I can see His faithfulness to me. I have no reason to doubt that He will remain faithful in the days yet ahead.
I look around me and I feel the chilling wind of change…change that is not good for believers. I see how the world’s perception of Christians today has become warped…how we appear by liberal definition to be bigots and racists and haters. How if we don’t jump on board with radical agendas and unbiblical lifestyles then we are not welcome to live in their world.
The description that David gives of his persecutors sounds eerily similar to some of our accusers that I see on the news today. He pictures his haters as bulls who encircle him and open their mouths wide at him; as lions who are tearing and roaring; mad wild dogs who have closed in on him; evildoers who surround him.
Remember the looks on the faces of the rioters when they hurled insults at those who attended White House events this past summer? We’ve seen and heard that same spewed hatred over and over, aimed at pro-lifers and conservatives and Christians in various settings.
I never thought I’d see the day when moral values are demeaned and blatant ungodliness is held up as the national standard.
But it is here, and it is now.
What jumped off the page to me this morning as I read Psalm 22 is this:
“But You, O Lord, be not far off; O You, my help, hasten to my assistance. Deliver my soul from the sword, my only life from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion’s mouth; FROM THE HORNS OF THE WILD OXEN YOU ANSWER ME.” (Psalm 22:19-21)
David was already in the middle of great trouble. The picture is of him being actively mauled. But in the midst of being attacked, David asserted that God answered Him.
God doesn’t always remove my attackers, in whatever form they come, but He DOES hear me and answer me.
David learned that he may have felt forsaken but in reality, he was not. God was there in every scary moment.
And so He is with us and He WILL continue to be with us. He will surround us while we figure out how to function as the minority in our culture today. He will answer us from the horns of the wild oxen!
David knew that though he felt forsaken at times, God was there with him. And God is with us as well.
“For He has not despised and He has not detested the affliction of the afflicted, nor has He hidden His face from him, but when he cried to Him, He heard.” (Psalm 22:24)
God knows. God hears.
I will praise Him and I will share Him with others.
I will stand strong for truth.
And some day, in His timing, He will clean up all this mess.