The life-changing concepts in this week’s Psalm 73 first began to penetrate my heart after I lost my own dear brother to cancer. It became a healing balm for me back then. As you read the whole Psalm, there is something so real and honest about it. It begins with a ‘good’ man comparing his troubled life to the seemingly carefree lives of the ‘not so good’. It seemed that although he had done everything right – everything was going wrong!
I too have struggled with these issues before God…
“LORD, haven’t I loved You since I was a tiny girl? Haven’t I tried to follow You wholeheartedly ever since? Why has such a tragedy hit my family? Others who don’t even care about You seem to have it easy. It’s not fair LORD! What did I do to deserve this?”
Friends, I am looking in the wrong direction when I contemplate and assess life in this way. Yes, I am asking normal human questions with an ordinary human mindset – questions that are honest and OK to ask. But honestly, I have learned that it is not good for me to remain dwelling on them. I need a ‘supernatural’ mindset to focus on and assess situations correctly.
My dear friend Bron, who illustrated Heartbreakingly Beautiful for us, often reminds me of this truth… “Contentment ends when comparison begins”. After his futile rant (that sounds a lot like mine), the psalmist finally stops comparing his circumstances with others and begins to look to God and focus again in the right direction. At the end of the day he realizes that only one thing matters – and he has that right! There is a peace in his soul with the knowledge that if he has God and God has him, then that is all he needs! Therefore, when it all boils down, to BE Near God and dwell with Him is all he desires.
A year after Beth left us to go Home, her school kindly set up a memorial plaque for her. We chose part of her favorite Psalm 73 to add underneath her name, her date of birth and her date of death… “As for me, it is good to be near God”. Beth was near God right through her trial and now she is right near Him enjoying His presence in ways we can’t yet comprehend. To BE Near God was her ultimate desire and it has become mine in my ongoing journey with grief.
Be careful where and what you desire to be near as you journey through life. Chose the right place to dwell and the right Person in whom to place all your hopes, dreams and desires. Don’t put your ‘eggs’ in just any old basket where they will be trashed! Because of the saving work of Jesus Christ, our longing to BE Near God can come true…“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
An ancient song to encourage you:
Remember to listen to Psalm 73 by Sons of Korah on your Heartbreakingly Beautiful soundtrack. Check out the other psalms they sing at www.sonsofkorah.com
A book to build you up:
Come Away My Beloved by Frances J. Roberts
Another classic devotional book that is a powerful tool to help us BE Near God.