A friend and I have been helping each other out with a few things. We have been helping each other for a little while now, and he was supposed to hook me up 3 weeks ago as well as last week, but fell through again. That is the edited version of the situation.
When he was not able to reciprocate for me as agreed upon and give back per our general mutual agreement; I got frustrated, and thought to myself, “Really?!? I can’t believe this! Here I am providing x, y and z for him, and he’s not reciprocating and giving back…” and then it hit me.
Any time you are in a storm situation, any help that friends or family gives is like shelter in the midst of that storm, regardless of what the storm may be or what type. So when he didn’t come through after I had been “sheltering” him for several months now, I was quite upset. “Oh wow!” I thought. “This must be how God feels after He provides (shelter) for us time and again, and we don’t tithe and give back.”
After all, this relationship with God is reciprocal just like my relationship with this friend. God expects us to follow His ways and live according to His word; to obey. He has plenty of blessings for us, but He also has plenty of work for us to do on His behalf. The harvest is plentiful and the workers are few.
It’s like if my son was working, and did not contribute to the household, but simply kept his money because he thinks it belongs to him, or because he is simply being selfish; I would have had a similar reaction. I think my sentiment would be, “I can’t believe that this boy….again? He’s not giving me anything?!?! After I’ve been providing for him for 19 years?!?”
At the time that this thought had occurred to me about my friend, I was gearing up for full self-righteous mode, and as soon as the above sentiment hit my noggin, it was as if God whispered to me, “See how I feel?” Man! That was a very quick slap back into reality. After all, I’ve been reading Psalms 91 of late, and getting a real breakdown on what it is really saying and how explicit this covenant of protection actually is.
While visiting our church this past Sunday, Dr. Bob Barnes said that even if we think we are being taken advantage of by someone we try to help; we should be grateful, because even in that, God has privileged us with the opportunity to work for Him. We should actually hope that someone would try to take advantage, because it affords us that opportunity.
Funny thing is, it was this same friend that gave this Psalm 91 book to me, yet his family seems to be so under attack from all sides. I was surprised about it when I began reading the book, which he stated that certain family members have read; yet still they are under major attack that is doing some physical damage. I wondered about this same thing when it came to Job. You see, Job prayed daily for his family like he was worried about them.
When these celebrations ended—sometimes after several days—Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice.
My mom does the same thing. If she can’t reach me by phone for a day or two, she’s freaking out. She says she prays for us all the time, but it seems like its done out of worry, not faith. She worries because she already lost my baby brother in 2012. We are all she has left since my older brother has distanced himself.
So like Job, she prays out of fear. Job feared his kids had sinned and had cursed God in their hearts. She doesn’t think we do that. She is just constantly fearful about losing anything and anyone, especially us since my brother’s passing.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
There should be no fear because if you are dwelling in the shelter of the Most High, you are at rest. So is my mom dwelling there? Was Job? The other question is, did Job know about these promises? Did he know about his faith being great enough to cover his family and protect them as well as him?
no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent
Your tent is representing your household; your family. So the question is, did Job know about this promise and more importantly, did he believe it? His actions say otherwise.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Trust is truly the issue, because if you really trust that God is a God of integrity; if you know that He never goes back on His word or any of His promises to us, then you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that He will protect both you and yours…if you are dwelling in that secret place; the shelter of the Most High that is.
If you live in fear, it will directly affect your kidneys, and indirectly affect your stomach through worry, and affect heart through sadness or distress. Speaking of distress, there’s a spider that has made its home on my side view mirror on my car. Not that I’m upset about it, but I have been observing it. I watched as it rolled up a breakfast snack in what looked like sheets of webbing; when I thought each roll of the webbing would only be threads and would take much longer.
But the thing about this spider is where he has chosen to position himself. Granted, the web he has woven near my mirror is an amazing work of art; so delicate and intricate. It manages to capture every leaf, bud or twig that falls from any trees I may park under. In normal city driving conditions, it seems to hold its own quite well.
However, when I get above 35 miles per hour, the web takes a serious hit. So it seems that pretty much every night, this spider must go to work, rebuilding his web; and he does this willingly. He doesn’t seem to mind at all. After all, he did position himself in what is, in essence, a wind tunnel.
Yet, imagine living your life day to day, or even year to year, and having to rebuild constantly like that. If you had a Job experience year after year, could you deal? My thought is that after a while, you must learn to live with a lot less, so that you lose a lot less, or…re-position yourself and move out of the wind tunnel.
With the spider, I think he actually enjoys it. It provides him with work…something to do. Building webs is his specialty. He probably takes pride in doing so (if a spider could take pride in such things) and enjoys the creative process of building a better, stronger, and more intricately designed web. And after he completes it, he gets to sit back and chill; rest and relax until his next meal comes along. Not a bad life, especially when you consider that a day is like a thousand years according to Genesis.
Two other observations I picked up on from this book on Psalms 91. The church tells us frequently to pray in the morning before starting our day. However, as the author of this book pointed out, Jesus did his praying at night, and walked in power with authority throughout the day.
Also, because Jesus was so much in the shelter of the Most High; because the relationship was so tight; he walked and lived in a realm in which evil did not, and could not come near him. We are protected from it. It is promised in the Psalm. Don’t mistake persecution for evil. Those are two different things.
So, right now, I’m in a wind tunnel position of sorts, however, like the spider, I know where to go. He goes in the crack of the side view mirror when the wind starts to kick up. I go to the Rock. And, I plan to reposition myself up out of that wind tunnel very, very soon.