Sunday, February 28, 2010

What makes you "exceedingly glad"?

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 21:1-13

TO CHEW ON: “For You have made him most blessed forever;
You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence.” Psalm 21:6

The story I began yesterday, about Larry Crabb and his cancer, well there’s more. After his wife left the hospital the night after he got the news, he experienced an array of emotions. Looking outside at life going happily on he asked “Why me?” He started thinking of why this might have happened to him and what he could do to get God to reverse the disease. Maybe if he had long, long devotions and memorized lots of Scripture the doctors would discover, at the next exam, that the lump had disappeared.

Then he thought of Satan and Jesus’ conversation at the time of Jesus’ temptation. Satan would give Him everything He needed/wanted, if He would forfeit one thing – intimacy with and the pleasure of Father God. Of course Jesus turned Satan down.

Crabb recalled a parable by Augustine where God told Augustine to write his ultimate wish list. After he had done it, God came to him again and said, “I will give you everything on your list and a long life to enjoy it all. But there is one condition. If you accept this offer, you will never see My face.” August explained: “The chill that you feel when you think of never seeing God’s face is your love for God.”

Then the light dawned for Crabb:

“Life is all about knowing God…And I realized that I wanted God more than anything or anyone else, with my whole being. That was the first miracle.

Then came the second…. I felt joy. Yet even the peace and joy weren’t really the point. That night I experienced the presence of God. What more – or less could I want?” (Soul Talk pages 3-8).

We don’t need to be in a hospital room to experience God’s presence – but maybe it helps. As I read Larry Crabb’s story I ask myself, is knowing God my highest ambition? Does time spent in His presence make me “exceedingly joyful”? What will it take, of life experience, to finally get my eyes off of "worthless things" and fully focused on Him? 

PRAYER: Dear God, I am so easily distracted by and preoccupied with the things of this world. Please teach me how to live in and find joy in Your presence above everything else. Amen.

MORE:How I Long for You” is a beautiful and intimate worship song on one of my Hillsong CDs. (On my Worship playlist, it’s the song that has the most plays).

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