This story comes from a friend of mine recounting the early years of his life.
“My maternal grandmother raised five children during the Great Depression in Oklahoma City, while her out-of-control alcoholic husband drained what little resources they scraped together. She walked to and from her jobs, doing whatever she could find to do to put a little food before her babies. She used to quote the following by no means otherwise great poem as her favorite (she, however, made it great):”
It Couldn’t Be Done, published 1914, by Edgar A Guest (1881 – 1959)
Somebody said it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing and he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
The Psalmist begins by simply imagining. He is imagining what life would have been like “if the Lord had not been on our side.” As he remembers what God did to deliver His people across time he uses metaphors to describe the action.
1 If the LORD had not been on our side– let Israel say– 2 if the LORD had not been on our side when men attacked us, 3 when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; 4 the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, 5 the raging waters would have swept us away. 6 Praise be to the LORD, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. 7 We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. 8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 124
How about you?
What if God had not been on your side?
Let me know your story…
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Yes, I know that is easier said than done. I know that in moments of great darkness and distress it is difficult to have courage. In Joshua chapter one Moses has just died and God comes to Joshua asking him to take the people into the Promised Land. It had been 40 years since they left Egypt and the task, at first glance, seemed impossible. What would Joshua do?
For him it was not a hard choice he knew that the God who had called him to the task would provide the resources to accomplish that same task. God had promised to go with him and for Joshua that was enough. God has a way of doing what He says.
The Difficulty of Solitude is a fact of life. In a world of run, run, run our greatest need is often to stop and withdraw into the deep silence of time with God. The problem sometimes is solitude can be anything but peaceful
Henri Nouwen author of Making All Things New presents reasons why solitude can be difficult.
“As soon as we are alone…inner chaos opens up in us. This chaos can be so disturbing and so confusing that we can hardly wait to get busy again. Entering a private room and shutting the door, therefore, does not mean that we immediately shut out all our inner doubts, anxieties, fears, bad memories, unresolved conflicts, angry feelings and impulsive desires. On the contrary, when we have removed our outer distraction, we often find that our inner distraction manifest themselves to us in full force. We often use the outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noises. This makes the discipline of solitude all the more important.”