Why I Believe: David LaFrance

Today’s Reading:  Psalm 10 

Psalm 10:1 Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

At a young age, you only know what you know. We went to church at times but what happened, what I heard, and what I witnessed was different than my experiences at home.  The worldly choices made by my family and self got in the way of any connections the Lord was calling us to.  Selfishness, lies, and addictions took the front seat and we did the hiding from God. I would become a master at hiding physically, mentally, emotionally, and most importantly spiritually.  Still only like God can do, He would find me.  

According to my study bible, Psalm 10 is one of the Lament Psalms. Laments typically have five components which can appear in any order: (1) an invocation, or cry to God; (2) a complaint – description of a crisis; (3) a petition; (4) a statement of confidence in the Lord; and (5) a vow to praise God. Laments typically arise from a specific situation, and understanding that situation can help readers apply its truths to their own experience.  

For me, I remember literally crying out.  Poor me, why this, why that? I had lost my earthly father at an early age. Even before this memory, I could remember the addictions and fallouts from that.  It impacted our whole family. This was the path I knew.  My desires to live a life about myself and in the world filled me with an emptiness that no earthly pleasures could fill.  Trouble surrounded me. The only answer was God.  God saw my arrogance, my afflictions, and humbled me to my knees. ( I still need this more than I want to admit.) He showed me through my wife, family, and others that this vapor of life should only point to Him if you want any fullness and peace. In any moments where God seems hidden and you are needing to cry out, know He is always there. Just like you, just like me,  I needed to open my eyes, listen, and have faith in His plan for my life and not try to do everything for myself and by myself. 

Christ’s love can break any cycles of the past. 2 Corinthians 5:17 If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, the new is here! 

Why do I believe? I believe because God’s grace, love, and plans for my life are bigger and better than I will ever know or imagined. Jesus changes everything.  He transformed my life, my family, and He can change yours. 

 

Psalm 10: 16-18  The Lord is King forever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.

Dear God, thank you for changing our downward trajectory. Thank you for loving us and making us new. I know Your work in us is ongoing. Please take away our pride so we can be more like you. Amen  Be Blessed

Resting Place

Lost and nowhere to be found in the middle of the woods. You are all alone, miles and miles away from any communication to the outside world. As the hour draws near, it starts to get dark outside, and it starts to rain. You find yourself searching for shelter to get out of the rain and rest for the night. Finally, you find a cave, a resting place.

This short story is an analogy for how we walk through life. Humans walk around looking for something significant. Everybody wants to be seen as valuable in society. People attempt to do this through their work, families, health, achievements, etc. It is exhausting, to see how much weight is put on finding value in life. Everybody wanders around to find something that will put their minds and hearts at peace.

From the time of the Fall till today, God recognizes that sense of belonging and value that individuals seek. Humans were always supposed to live with God in the garden until Adam and Eve sinned against God. They are left with a void inside themselves because of sin. People are left leading a life without a shepherd that they need (Jeremiah 50:6). Now, everybody attempts to fill that void with material goods, achievements, families, relationships, school, advancements, etc. People are running themselves exhausted because they are not rooted in the Lord.

What happens when people get to this point of exhaustion?

What does God do to help with this?

Why is being rooted in the Lord do for us?

Back to the story told from earlier, you find yourself lost, stranded, and stuck in the rain in the middle of nowhere…you are to that point of exhaustion and need a resting place. This is what happens in life, and how people find themselves in life. They get to a point where they can’t handle it anymore, and they want to give up or find some type of answer for why everything is falling apart in their world.

God knows that everyone can’t do this alone, and that is why He wants us to see Him as our resting place. Psalm 62:5-7 says, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge”. When we are to that point of exhaustion, to the point of giving up, God gives us that cave every time. He always provides a resting place in Him.

Throughout all of the Gospels, Jesus tells all the people, to allow Him to take their burdens and rest in Him (Matthew 11:29). Jesus came to give us rest from all of our labors. He came, so that way, the burden of sin would no longer leaving us to feel lost and broken.

The longing and value that everybody is attempting to find on their own are found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul says, ” Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”. Everything that you are searching for is in Christ Jesus. He is the resting place that we are all longing for. He provides that cave for us every time we need it!

Master of Heaven and Earth

Creation shows God’s majesty! How often do you stop and notice the birds in the sky, each blade of grass in your lawn, a beautiful blue sky, or the snow that falls on a cold winter night?

God’s creation is everything on this Earth, the heavens, and the entire universe. The Lord our God is the creator of all things! When was the last time you spent significant time meditating and praying about God’s creation?

Psalm 146:5-6 says, “Blessed is he whose helps is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever,”.

These verses are here to not only show us that God has created all things, but that is He is always with us. God is the master of Heaven and Earth, which includes us. Our creator has chosen to give us dominion over all the beauty and majesty of the Earth (Genesis 2:15-22).

The beauty and majesty that the Lord has provided need to be recognized and enjoyed. God has created an incredible landscape to live out our lives.

One of my favorite things to do on a vacation or time off is to spend time in God’s creation. I go to a quiet place and sit in awe of His creation. During that time I feel connected to God in a way that I never do anywhere else. I believe that is because I don’t stop each day to recognize what God has created.

We live in a fast-paced world. Change happens quickly, and we have to adapt to it. That leaves us no time to slow down. In Genesis 2:1-3, God finishes all that He has created, and then He took time to rest. I believe that in the time of creation, God used that seventh day to enjoy what He has created. I also believe that He has set aside that day for us to use to enjoy his creation and slow down, even when it seems impossible.

Take time this week to find one day where you can go for a hike, drive to a quiet place, or just spend some time looking at the stars. Daily, we all need to recognize how great and powerful it is that God has created all things and that we get to be a part of that. I pray that each of you would take time to see that this week!