Tuesday, 19 October 2010

He only is my Rock and my Salvation, My Fortress I shall not be shaken.

Today I've used an article by my good friend Romanos from Portland Oregon in the United States of America.He is talking about certainty in an uncertain age.In the UK there is not much certainty about except that people may well lose their jobs or that they may have to take a pay cut.

The postmodern mood that many people have caught also discourages us from being certain about anything. This is an sharp contrast to those who know or have known God- even in turbulent times.David and Job from the Bible are a case in point. David was on the run for his life from Saul who was trying to kill him, yet in the many Psalms that he wrote around this time he declared his certainty that God was his Rock, his Fortress and his Cleft in the Rock were he could find shelter in the midst of his trouble. His faith and hope were in the Almighty God.

Job who was also tried to a great degree but was able to declare when outwardly all was dark:'I know that my Redeemer lives' and again 'Though He slay me. yet will I trust Him'.Not that he necessarily believed God would slay him, but that even if God appeared to slay him for no reason, he had an inner sense that God was good, was trustworthy and could be fully relied upon, and therefore there must be some good reason that God would allow it to happen.Of course sometimes we fail in the trial but even then forgiveness may be found if we turn back to Him and resolve to put our trust again.

I remember well when I was about four years old and had broken my arm after falling off a wild donkey that I had climbed onto. As soon as I got on it it decided to go for a gallop before suddenly stopping and causing me to fly over its head.To cut a long story short, at the hospital in Donegal the doctors put the plaster of Paris cast on too tightly and it had to be removed when I returned to Belfast. However to get it off they had to use a type of circular saw which made a lot of noise, but which the doctor assured me would automatically stop as soon as it touched my skin. My father who I trusted completely concurred with the doctor that I would come to no harm.Did I trust my dad? I had always trusted him before, but when I heard the noise and saw the steel blade coming so close to my arm I was convinced that this time, either my dad was being tricked by the doctor and it would cut my arm off or that he knew that it would cut my arm off because it needed to come off for some medical reason that I didn't know of.Did I trust him? Sadly no, but instead decided to scream the house down to the annoyance of the doctor.Unfortunately I failed in this particular trial of trust but as far as I can remember I have never doubted him since because I knew he always wanted the best for me as one for his children.As a child of God we likewise must learn to put our trust in our faithful Father and loving God who always knows what is best for us. AK

People build their lives on a foundation of certainties. They couldn’t live them any other way. Certainties are things they can count on to be there day after day, dependably. They know for sure about these things because over a long period of time, they’ve found them to be true.

Some of these certainties are natural. The sun rises every morning. Their hearts can be depended on to keep beating. They are locked into relationships with family and co-workers. Their cars will probably start up in the morning so they can go to jobs that they will probably still have.

Again, what they consider certainties are based on what they have observed and experienced to be true. As it is with the details of daily life, so it is with matters that have a greater scope, a more enduring nature. These are certainties about one’s self and about others that matter.

Sometimes I say things about myself and others that might seem excessively optimistic, even to the point of boasting, and to many these seem to be beyond certainty. They think in their hearts, ‘How can he say that? Only God can know such things. How can he be so sure of that?’

The truth is, I am no soothsayer, no prophet. Neither am I a man confident of his own virtue. As I see others fall around me, I know I can fall, and sometimes I do fall, yet I say of myself or others, ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘You can trust him. He is faithful. He has never disappointed me.’

Yet to me, these things I say are true. They are words of my testimony. They are the certainties I build my life on. Knowing and depending on them make it possible for me to live day in, day out, despite every challenge that comes against me, every obstacle that tries to block me.

But make no mistake. I know that I can count on myself and on these others whom I call brothers and friends and more-than-friends, not only because I have observed their behavior over a long period of time (and sometimes not long) and can depend on them to be and act a certain way.

It is precisely because my confidence is not in myself or in these others, not in our strength or our love or our faithfulness, not in ours but in Christ’s, that I can live on a foundation of such certainty that even the threat of death, let alone lesser fears, cannot dislodge me, or us.

We are not play acting or giving lip service when we exclaim, ‘Not by us, Yahweh, not by us, by You alone is glory deserved! By Your love and Your faithfulness’ (Psalm 115). Brothers, we know whom we have believed in, and we know that it is He who gives us the power to stand, and His sure guarantee.

Ours is the Faithful and the True, the Living One. We know it is not by our own strength that we can be and do everything. It is only He, only He. Thank you, my friends for sharing this confidence with me, and for walking with me, helping me to follow along behind the flock of His companions, walking behind Jesus.


Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

What a wonderful short film your story about your wild donkey ride, your breaking your arm, and your crisis of faith with the circular saw would make! As I read your account, I could see it all happening right before my very eyes.

Somehow, I've never pictured Ireland as a country where there would be donkeys, let alone wild ones (wild in the sense of bad tempered, but still domesticated). To me the thought of a donkey ride reminds me of the Greek islands, or somewhere in the Middle East. We just don't see many donkeys on farms where I have lived.

Now, I can't wait till I can come to Northern Ireland and have you show me where your precipitous donkey dive happened. Just another thing to look forward to. County Donegal, did you say? That's the only county of Ulster that's in the Republic of Ireland, isn't it?

Anyway, I'm honored that you would borrow from my humble blog. I've really enjoyed the other things you've been putting up here lately. Always encouraging to meet the Word of God in unexpected places! (Though not unexpected at your blog!)

Andrew Kenny said...

You probably would see less wild donkeys in Northern Ireland that in the Republic of Ireland.They are a bit of a tourist attraction there, especially in the country, and sometimes have a little Jack Russell Terrier standing on top of their backs.
The three counties in Ulster that are not part of the Northern Ireland are Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan.For the last 20 years or so The Republic experienced great economic growth which they called the Celtic Tiger now however it is well and truly dead and they are suffering probably even more than the UK.

Yes it would be nice to see you face to face and enjoy good fellowship. I feel I know you so well already brother and find it amazing that we appreciate so many similar things. I suppose I should not be surprised since we have the same spiritual DNA!