ANSWERS IN THE GRAY
1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. 3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. 7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. 8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. 9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. 10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.11 Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. 12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. 13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
On any given day and at any given time we, GOD'S PEOPLE, are given both explicit and subliminal messages that our successes are measured by status as well as by the acquisition of materialistic possessions. While we live in a world where some access to materialistic possession is an essential ingredient in basic survival, our focus on this entity appears to have become so extreme and obsessive that our perception of the lack of materialistic possessions has the propensity to cause even the most deeply spiritually anchored person: 1] to question the foundation of one's faith, 2] to develop a distorted perception of GOD, 3] to surmise that one is forgotten in the heart and eyes of GOD, 4] to gravitate to an assembly of others that prescribe a regiment of candy machine faith, and/or 5] to struggle to remain in a community that expresses and affirms the desire of one's presence, gifts, and contributions on one hand, but closes one out of fellowship of that same community on the other hand according to its definition of success.
Some of the theological treaties that are being both forged and perpetuated by the uninformed have removed the tenants of paradox and inconsistency from the equation of our existence and from our faith to the degree that there remains little to any room for the LORD and his infinite wisdom to illuminate our circumstances and our lives.
In essence, far too often, the responses to the difficulties that we face, the challenges which threaten to overpower the lives of those whom we love, the distress that permeates the lives of those about whom we care, the inability for faith-anchored people to sit with and be present to PAIN, and the inability for faith-anchored people to sit with and be present to the fact that many of life's answers do not reside in the "black and white," has caused far too many Christians to ascribe to an escapist, quick-fix, and prosperity driven mentality and spirituality that manufactures a response that is based on the acquisition materialistic possessions as a determination and indication of GOD'S movement in the life of the believer.
Oftentimes, GOD'S PEOPLE are tenaciously searching for the indicators of GOD'S presence in their lives in the acquisition of materialistic possesses to the degree, that many persons have neglected to turn their focus and their attention to the critical places where the presence, scope, depth, and breadth of GOD must reign supreme in order to hear and respond to the answers that are not necessarily in the "black and white," BELOVED OF GOD, but in the GRAY!
The irony and danger of one's ascribing to the places that society has circumscribed as markers of success is that the consequence of this obsession has caused far too many believers to give up on the LORD! BELOVED, as you are reading this reflection right now, in this very minute, GOD is trying to get your attention in order to refocus you for authentic deliverance and to enable you see the places where GOD is BREAKING your life OPEN, literally, for the good of them who love and cling to HIM...this means YOU!
BELOVED, the authentic successes that are being referenced are manifesting themselves not so much in the places that will necessarily grant you extensive revenue, a larger home, a new vehicle, a higher property value, or access into the "Club of the Nines!" However, the successes of GOD are manifesting themselves in the places 1] where in your weakness, GOD grants you STRENGTH, 2] in the places where dangers are seen and unseen, that GOD grants you an escape to safety, 3] in the places that when sanity should have evaded you such a long time ago, that GOD grants you PEACE, that surpasses all understanding, 4] that in the places when sickness had the potential to wipe you out or even CANCEL you, that the GREAT PHYSICIAN regulated your heart with his stethoscope of love , 5] that in the places when you doubted that you had the capacity to be resilient that the LORD lifted you up, 6] that in the places where gloom, brokenness, loneliness, grief, isolation, depression, fear, and uncertainty companioned you both day and night, that the LORD granted you JOY unspeakably, and 7] that in the places where it appeared that the bottom had fallen out, that GOD was simply removing your false sense of confidence on the shallow promises of man in order to assist you in anchoring your promises on those of the LORD!
Yes, GOD does respond as it is such an innate part of his DIVINE NATURE. Perhaps, HIS ANSWERS are rendered more in the GRAY because our presence in the GRAY causes each man, woman, boy, and girl, to release the reigns of our pseudo-controls and LET GOD BE GOD!!!
This invitation for one to become more amenable to the presence of the LORD in the GRAY is illustrated even in the fairy tale of Cinderella by the Brothers Grimm. Cinderella, a believed to be forgotten maiden, who did not fit her stepmother nor sisters' perception of beauty and royalty, lived her life in the gray among the ashes and cinders of life to the degree that she believed herself unworthy of being blessed and granted any serious consideration of a power much greater then herself! You know the remainder of the narrative, GRACE showed up in the GRAY and used every impossibility and transformed it into possibilities...that is why we need the GRAY as it is the mixing of joy with sadness, and triumph with defeat that creates the climate of our transformation and deliverance! In other words, THE ANSWERS IN THE GRAY produces the COLOR in our lives! David, reminds us that world in which we live is moving at such a pace of frenzy, that he would have fainted in the "now here" unless he believed that he would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Trust GOD my brother and my sister and look for the "breakout" of HIS presence in the places where both inconsistencies and paradoxes inform you of the certainty of GOD'S GRACE and GOD'S LOVE...that place is called
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