Friday, March 4, 2016

Trusting God in Unwanted Circumstances

I’ve been reading through the Psalms recently. Yesterday morning, one of the ones I read was Psalm 53.
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity,
There is none who does good.
God looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
Every one of them has turned aside;
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good, no not one. 
Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge,
Who eat up my people as they eat bread,
And do not call upon God?
There they are in great fear where no fear was,
For God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you;
You have put them to shame,
Because God has despised them. 
Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When God brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.

At the first read through, this Psalm kind of seemed disjointed. I didn’t initially see the thread of connection and flow through it all. But after looking at it for a bit, I could see it. Basically, the summary of this Psalm could be “Foolish men no match against God’s salvation.”

It made me smile as I saw it, and I thought about how encouraging that is. So often, we get focused on the rascals who seem to be able to do whatever they want. And yes, sometimes God allows evil men to have sway for a while. But in the end, they will be filled with great fear, “For God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you.”

Not long after reading that, as I was walking to work, one of my fellow staff members stopped me. He asked me what other names I go by…..and I thought I knew where this was headed. When I told him my Luganda name, he told me that he had met a stranger on our campus – that spot being only a one minute walk from my house – who was looking for me by that name.

The stranger who talked to me once in the nearby town.

The creeper who has been stalking me.

He had been onsite, and not far from my place.

That was evidently a couple weeks ago. I think before he got my number and called me, and I told him “Do NOT call me again.”

On Wednesday, my fellow staff member had been in the nearby town, and three people had walked up to him and blamed him for keeping their friend (the creeper) from seeing “his friend” at New Hope (me – though I would NOT call someone “my friend” after one brief encounter).

My fellow staff member made the comment “I didn’t know I had any enemies in [the nearby town], but now I guess I do.” I explained the situation to him, and told him I was sorry he had gotten involved in it. And I did (and do) feel somehow guilty for it. The number of times my mind has tried to go back through that initial interaction, to see why this creeper thinks he can be so persistent….

But I have to keep reminding myself that I am not to blame for his unwarranted actions. My mom always says “you can’t ‘should have’ anything” – but I think it’s just human for us to think that way.
I feel like my privacy has been violated by this creeper. And now at least two of my staff members have been a bit hassled by the local people because of it. And yes, it is so tempting to be afraid.

It wasn’t until I lay down to go to sleep last night that my mind suddenly put two and two together. All day, the worry would try to come pressing back in. All day, I was waiting to talk to the church elder who has been walking through this situation with me. All day, I had been trying to remind myself not to let fear control me. But all day, I had forgotten the Truth that I read that morning:

“For God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you”

And so last night, I finally prayed a Bible-based prayer about it – for the first time in all the weeks this has been going on. I prayed that God would scatter these outside ‘enemies’ who seem to be bent on getting me and this creeper together. That God would place a hedge of protection around my friends and around me. That God would place a fear of HIM into the heart of this creeper. I have no idea where he stands spiritually – and I do pray that God would work in his heart….not only to cause fear, but even to cause repentance.

So often, I fail to connect what I read in the Bible to real life. But this morning, as I read a couple more Psalms, the Spirit gave me the eyes to see it. And so I begin a new day, choosing to rest and trust in the God of my salvation. The One who can and will hear my prayers; the One who can grant me deliverance. Selah.

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