Monday, 21 January 2019 08:48

Check Engine Light

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We were excited about our youngest son and his family flying in from Chicago to spend the holidays with us. Did I mention we were excited about their visit? That is when “it” showed up. The check engine light came on in our van. Sometimes technology gives more information than you want to know. The computer adviser instructed us to get the van to a shop, pronto. That was not what two excited parents wanted to hear, especially when we were ready to head to the airport. (By the way, we did get the problem resolved.)

Sometimes the check engine light in our lives comes on as well. It is never timely. The Psalmist understood these issues. “Save me, God, for the water has risen to my neck. I have sunk in deep mud, and there is no footing; I have come into deep waters, and a flood sweeps over me.” (Ps. 69:1-2, HCSB) Water up to the neck does not bode well for the struggling saint. Yes, I said saint. Many of the Psalms tell stories of saints who struggled with the issues of life: discouragement, depression, attacks, insults, enemies and the like.

In the 69th Psalm, a struggling saint lists issues which he faced: false accusations (vs. 4); insults (vs. 7, 20); stress (vs. 17); ridicule (vs.11); and enemies (vs. 4). To make matters worse the Psalmist felt as if his faith had failed him. He said, “My eyes fail, looking for my God” (vs. 4); “I mourned and fasted, but it brought me insults” (vs. 10); he cried to God “Don’t hide Your face from Your servant, for I am in distress” (vs. 17). This Psalm is good for those who serve in ministry. Have we not known false accusation, insults, stress, ridicule, and opposition? The issues we face should not become the focus of our vision. I think God would rather have us focus on Him. That is where the writer of Psalm 69 gives significant insight.

I love the honesty of the Psalmist. He says, “My eyes fail, looking for my God”(vs. 3); “I have become a stranger to my brothers and a foreigner to my mother’s sons” (vs.8); “Those who sit at the city gate talk about me”(vs. 12); “Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I waited for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, but found no one.” (vs.20)

From this Psalm I am encouraged to be honest. When I am discouraged, I tell God. When I feel rejected, I tell God. When I am depressed, I tell God. The human heart has a need for venting. Cars have mufflers to vent the deadly fumes from the engine. The Christian has a heart that reaches out to God in desperation.

Even pastor’s check engine light comes on. The warning light should be a resource to strengthen our trust in God and renew our faith. It is vital that we trust God for solutions. Our feelings, circumstances, and emotions will always fail. Honesty gives God an opportunity to strengthen our faith. In trying times we realize that God is the power behind our faith. Faith is centered in Him, not self.

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