Back in October of 2014, a friend heard a message and told me that it was written for me. It was on Psalm 107. All she said was that I should read it sometime. Well, a few weeks later, I started reading it. I had NO CLUE what she was talking about, but because she is a very respected mentor of mine, I kept reading it at various times over the next couple months, still having no idea what she was referring to.
I also found the message she was referring to and listened to it MANY times! It was not sinking in.
By the end of January, I cried it to God in desperation, "I KNOW You have something You want me to learn in this Psalm or You would not have laid it on her heart to guide me to it and I would not be spending so much time trying to figure this out! You know I am slow at understanding and that I want to know You so much more! Please help me!"
That was my cry a few times during that week.
On January 28th, 2015, I learned what He was trying to show me! I only remember the date because I wrote it in my Bible.
On this particular day, I arrived at church early on Wednesday. I typically do because of the office work ministry God has given. But on this day, I had all that work caught up and had "extra time". Providence of God right there!! Earlier that day, I was desiring to know about Psalm 107 so much that I decided to write out the Psalm word for word before church. I spent an hour copying the text out. My eyes were opened as I reached the end of the Psalm...verse 43.
As I read those words of verse 43, I paused for several minutes. Not because I had finished reading, but because God opened my eyes. In the words of that one verse, I knew that I did not understand God's love towards me. I knew that I had to study out the Psalm to understand since it was referring to the things written in the previous 42 verses. I was speechless, even though I was by myself. I decided to let God work and help me to understand His loving kindness!
I continued listening to that message and reading through the Psalm many times per week. I wrote it out again in different sections and asked questions of the text as we had been learning to do through our afternoon Growth Point service. This opened my eyes more.
The definition of loving-kindness given in that message I was listening to was eye opening in itself - Loving-kindness is committed, unchanging, loving determination of the Lord, Who will NEVER give up on those who He has chosen for Himself. A quality that moves one to act for the benefit of another without respect to the advantage it might bring to the one who expresses it.
This Psalm describes four instances of trouble, crying, deliverance, and thanks. The immediate context is with the children of Israel, but I started seeing myself before salvation and even times since salvation when I was out of fellowship with God.
While doing this, God opened my eyes to seeing His mercy in this Psalm as well. I didn't see it before because I was focused on seeing and understanding His loving-kindness.
Though I knew God loved me, I never understood how much. This friend used an illustration of kicking at a brick wall rather than turning to God in some things in her life. This is what I have been doing as well, but didn't know it.
I didn't understand God's love for me which affected every area of my life. All of the bondage spoken of in Psalm 107 describes a place that I put myself because of lack of understanding of God's love and mercy. It also describes God's deliverance from that place!
I based my understanding on what others said and on how others showed or didn't show love towards me. God loves me even though I have done wicked things against Him. He loves me because of NOTHING of me. I had to (and did) choose to believe that! That's all! Just a small decision and my eyes were opened!! A weight was lifted!
In the moments as I realized this, God brought to mind an incident as a small illustration -- I had done some wicked thing. I went to "the office" for it. I don't remember what it was, honestly. I remember that I deserved everything I got in there and more! I remember not speaking because I couldn't make my thoughts into words. I remember not explaining because there was no need to. I remember partly what it involved, but not why I got in trouble. I do remember every part of the one in authority in that room, however.
She was stern.
She was honest.
When we left that room, she never spoke of it again. Only until years later when we would joke about it, was it ever mentioned, and that was after I brought it back up. I never understood that. I never understood why or how that was possible for someone to NEVER bring my sin back up. It was ever present in MY mind. She knew about it, too. Yet she never brought it up.
She was loving.
Now, after reading Psalm 107, I can see loving-kindness and mercy in her actions.
As I write this, tears are pouring down my cheeks because I can also see the lovingkindness and mercy of God in not only that situation, but in my life! I can't put that into words at the moment because of my crying, but I KNOW now that because of God's loving-kindness and mercy, though I may have consequences when I blow it, He will ALWAYS love me and ALWAYS relieve me from my miserable condition (that's what mercy always is)!
God’s love for me has been the same since He created everything! It hasn't changed because of my sin, failure, performance, or anything else! I had always seen God as heavy handed, though I knew He loved me because Jesus died for me and had accepted His free gift of salvation. I never knew what that love looked like or understood it because I was basing that understanding on my experiences. Experiences in which performance determined the amount and kind of love I received. True or not, this was how I saw it.
This brings up another eye opening moment that during all of this involving Proverbs 3:5-6. I WAS leaning on my own understanding in this and many areas of my life. I had never seen or understood thoses verses in this way before! I decided that I do not want to live or make decisions based on my experiences and definitely not based on my perspective! I want to live based on God’s Word! I want my thinking, my perspective, everything about me to me based on Him.
Something else I realized is, yes God wanted to save me from my sin, and He did! But He also wants to continue to save me from myself NOW! Me is what gets in the way! I can't see Him at times because of myself! My choices. My thoughts. My lack of understanding. My continue struggle with sin. Me! He created me and knows everything about me! Even the sins I have yet to commit against Him! Yet He CHOSE and continues to choose to LOVE ME!
Through Psalm 107, God allowed me to not understand the words of this Psalm so that I could see the brick wall in front of me. I never saw before, but I found it! I wasn't kicking at it to tear it down, but I was kicking because I knew there was something I didn't understand. That wall is gone now!
If ever I doubt my salvation or anything, I will remember that God DOES chasten His children! He doesn't leave us in our miserable state longer than it takes for us to see Him!
Ever wonder why we Paul prays that we would know the depth and breadth of God's love in Ephesians 3? I believe it is because we have no clue! I sure didn't!
Through this Psalm, so far, God has and continues to become my Best Friend. My eyes have been opened in ways that only God can do! I continue to unpack and learn more about Him and this Psalm as I continue reading. I have just begun understanding God's love for me and pray that I never stop learning and understanding that!
Guest posted by Lisa Langley.
A women who is : Single. Loves God. Love children. Loves Serving others.
God reached down in love and rescued Cassandra from her sin at the age of 21: changing her life, purpose, and focus forever.