Honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing. When the new year comes around, I try to figure it out. It seems like it ought to be a manageable task. Assess where you've been and decide where you want to go. Make a plan to get there and start it on January 1. But somehow, though I scour dozens of Gospel-centered productivity articles and break out a fresh journal, I still can’t capture who I am or what I am supposed to be doing. January 1 looms like another deadline, like all the rest, though more crucial because the whole year could go down the drain if I don't get it sorted out in time.
Thankfully, God directs me. This morning, at the dawn of 2016, He walked me patiently through Psalms 139 and 119, laying out exactly what I am supposed to be doing!
Psalm 139 tells me that I am His! He knows my every move and my whole life is worked out. There is no where I can go that He isn’t. Even in the dark, He is there and He is light. My mysterious heart, which I can’t get a grasp on, is utterly known. Nothing that happens to me is outside His direction, even though I am utterly bewildered. God searches me and knows me. He finds all my anxieties and weaknesses and all the ways that I am lost and blind. My heart is beyond understanding to me, so only He can know it.
Based on the fact that God alone knows me to the depths, I can relax. Even though my heart feels dusty and used, I can be revived. Psalm 119 is a love story with the Bible. God reaches me through His Word. It teaches, strengthens, directs, and comforts. “This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.” The Bible is truth, plain and simple. It is the truth for me when I’m alone, when I’m serving my family, when I’m working, and when I’m at church. And Jesus also tells me that “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” So even my lame attempts at reading the Bible through and making it my treasure above all else are guaranteed to be effective!
His mercy has swept in, once again, and rescued me from myself. 2016 will be a year of digging and asking, reading and meditating, memorizing and telling.
I think now I can steal one of Jonathan Edwards’s resolutions.
“Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.”
And I can add
Resolved, to trust the Scriptures as the sole basis for all of my decisions, to cherish it above all competing ideas, making it the center of my life.
I’m excited that the women at CPC this year can learn with me as we dig into the pages of Scripture together!!
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand--
when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.