Maximillian Amadeus Banzai (banzai) wrote,
Maximillian Amadeus Banzai

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Tenderness, fierceness, and thankfulness

You have taken account of my wanderings;
   Put my tears in Your bottle.
   Are they not in Your book?

—Psalm 56:8

Community Group ministered to me tonight. No, more than that— God showed up. Heather, Jason, Jeremy, Nathan and me tonight. I love these people and wish that I'd been able to move in next to the boys, but the sweet fellowship of community continues to be near.

There's nothing in my story that's a surprise to God; indeed, His is the hand that wrote my wanderings in His book. And my tears have been placed in His bottle, a precious comfort. John Gadsby (1860) brings a powerful perspective:
The custom in old times was, when a person was ill or in great distress, for his friends to go to see him, and take with them a tear bottle. Then, as the tears rolled down the cheeks of the sufferer, they were caught in these bottles, sealed up, and preserved as a memorial of the event. This is what David referred to...But it implies much more than at first suggests itself, and much more than I can attempt to write. For instance, it is as if David had said, "Visit me, and behold my tears;" ("O visit me with thy salvation!") for without such visit there could be no bottling of his tears.
Even now, I must trust that tears are being gathered by Him, that He would visit those with cause to shed them. My comfort goes only so far, and never so far as His tender care. Let the memorial of them be to His glory.

Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call;
   This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
   In the Lord, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.
   What can man do to me?

—Psalm 56:9-11

I take heart not only in His tenderness, but also in His fierceness. He will be the one who turns back my enemies when I call on Him. By this I will know that He is for me. I want a life that calls for something, that requires something of Him and something of me. As long as I run and hide from what is fearful, from what is overwhelming, from what is too big for me, how can this ever be so? The life I live must be too big for me, must be one in which He has to come through for the sake of His covenant, for the sake of His love. It must also be one that calls me to come through in His strength, to be more than I can be without His grace.

Your vows are binding upon me, O God;
   I will render thank offerings to You.
For You have delivered my soul from death,
   Indeed my feet from stumbling,
   So that I may walk before God
   In the light of the living.

—Psalm 56:12-13

Imperatives rest on indicatives. God commands us as He does always and only because of who we are, of who He has made us to be in Christ. I am His son, adopted by the King. This is something to live into and to be thankful for. By His grace, may I learn to do both.

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