Friday, May 10, 2013

No Good Thing Does He Withhold From Us

For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you! (Psalm 84:10-12 ESV)

Brokenness in my body in the form of tension and physical pain this week is forcing me to seek out places of safety and refuge, truths and experiences with God that will empower me to show compassion on myself as a broken and beloved man. Tension and physical pain always seem to provoke my orphan fears, and I easily and quickly become paralyzed. I also tend to get pretty frustrated with myself, that I’m “overthrown” so easily, hence the need to share the compassion of Jesus for myself. I seek out and find safe places in the company of a few fellow sufferers, but also in the poetic words of broken saints and songwriters.

One of these songwriters is Sara Groves. The song I’m thinking of is from a meditation from a Charles Spurgeon sermon on Psalm 84:11 above. Specifically, Spurgeon quotes Sir Richard Baker’s comments on this verse (slightly edited for emphasis):

Verse 11. No good thing will he withhold. etc. But how is this true, when God oftentimes withholds riches and honours, and health of body from men, though they walk never so uprightly;

we may therefore know that honours and riches and bodily strength, are none of God's good things;

they are of the number of things indifferent which God bestows promiscuously upon the just and unjust, as the rain to fall and the sun to shine.

The good things of God are chiefly peace of conscience and the joy in the Holy Ghost in this life; fruition of God's presence, and vision of his blessed face in the next,

and these good things God never bestows upon the wicked, never withholds from the godly, and they are all cast up in one sum where it is said . . . Blessed are the pure in heart (and such are only they that walk uprightly) for they shall see God.

From these comments, Sara Groves wrote the song, “Open My Hands.” Click here to watch the video, but spend time in the lyrics as well, soaking in what they are saying. They provide a place for us to open our hearts, hands and souls before our God who is always with us in the midst of daily life, in joy and sorrow.

I believe in a blessing I don't understand
I’ve seen rain fall on wicked and the just
Rain is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us

I believe in a peace that flows deeper than pain
That broken find healing in love
Pain is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me

I believe in a fountain that will never dry
Though I've thirsted and didn't have enough
Thirst is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me

No good thing from us
No good thing from us
He withholds no good thing from us

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me

Suffering loosens our grip on what we think are the “good things” – health, wealth, success, etc. Trying to grip these things leaves our hands clenched, closed and unable to receive. When our hands are opened up we are free to receive the true good things of God – the things of His Kingdom where it “is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17 ESV).

Let us be humble enough to lean into our suffering and receive what our good Father gives. Only when we are so blessed and broken can we can be given to hurting others, thus exposing the false kingdoms of this world, and overthrowing the wise and strong for what is foolish and weak. This is the way of Jesus, and the way he expands his Kingdom.

2 comments:

Priscilla Manion said...

Thank you. Just what I needed to hear

Scott said...

The Lord bless and keep you, Priscilla!
Thanks for stopping by.