Broken Bones

Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.  Psalm 51:8

King David wrote Psalm 51 after Nathan the prophet confronted him over his sin–of adultery and murder.

For some reason–this verse–Let the bones which You have broken rejoice—keeps sticking in my mind.

Have you ever wondered why bad things happen?  Could it be—that some bad things happen because God is getting our attention?

I don’t think David actually had any broken bones—but it was a metaphor.  Did you know that when a particular sheep keeps running away from the flock–the Shepherd will break the leg of the sheep, and then carry the sheep around His shoulders, until that sheep will bond with the Shepherd and stop running away.  

The Shepherd does this for the sake of that sheep–to protect that sheep from predators, and falling off cliffs, or going into a ravine–and He does this to protect the rest of the flock–because sheep have a tendency to stupidly follow each other–instead of the Good Shepherd.

The breaking of the bone–is a very drastic measure–and it usually happens after repeated events of going after the sheep in question.  

Lately, our family has been experiencing “broken bones”.  I say, “our family”, because when something bad happens to one person in the family–it affects the entire family.

I am also, looking around, and seeing “broken bones” in others in our community, in our nation, and in our world.

People are suffering.   Yet, I believe in the midst of the suffering–there can be rejoicing.

Why?   Because–we are so, so loved!!  We have a Father who loves us so much!! He sent Jesus to die for us–to save us from our sins. 

Jesus, the good Shepherd loves us so much, that He keeps going after us–time and time again.  If we continue to wander, He is willing to (metaphorically) break our bones, and drape us around His neck, and carry us–until we have bonded with Him, and can’t bear to be parted from Him ever again–and so remain in His presence for the rest of our journey here on this earth.  

 Sometimes the worst things that happen to us–like losing a child, or having addictions, or loss of any kind– these are the very things that show us the grace and love and strength of the Lord—–and they become mercies in disguise.

So let our broken bones–rejoice!!  We have a God who is not willing to leave us – but will get our attention, over and over again.  Our God loves us!!

Let us be encouraged!!

Lies or Life

Suicide—the desire to end one’s life.   There are a few times in my life, I have thought about it.  The first time was when a relationship ended, with someone I thought I would marry– I was heartbroken– I thought I would never love again.

 The second time I came close was during a time of transition.  I had moved to a new place and had a new job.  I didn’t have friends at first—that took some time.  I was very, very lonely. 

I had gone back to my hometown and had made plans to see my college friend and former roommate.  I waited at her apartment building for her to show up, and she did not.  I could hear this lie—“No one loves you.  You don’t have any friends.  Even your best friend has forgotten you.”

I left to drive back to my new town, and I was engulfed in tears.  I thought about driving my car off the road, and banging into some trees, and ending it all.

I could hear another voice through the lies, a voice telling me not to listen, to have hope. A voice telling me that if I ended my journey now—I’d never see all that was in store for me, …a voice telling me not to despair, that I was loved with an everlasting love.

I realized then that what we choose to listen to—can bring life or death.  There is the voice of lies and death, that constantly vies for our attention—and if we pay attention to that voice—it will seek to destroy us.   Jesus tells us that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but He comes to bring us life and bring it in abundance.  Then He goes on to tell us that He is the Good Shepherd, and He lays down His life for the sheep.  John 10: 10-11

He is the Good Shepherd, and He laid down His life for us to give us life—life in abundance.  I love that!!  But there is also the thief—and the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.  We have an enemy of our souls.  He will lie to us—He will try to steal from us, He will try to destroy us.

So what can we do?   We do what sheep do—they listen to the Shepherd, they follow the Shepherd; the Shepherd finds green pastures for them, the Shepherd protects them with His life.

Jesus says that if we listen to Him and do what He says— we will be like people building their houses on the rock—and when the storms of life come—their house will stand.  Luke 6: 46-49

In other words—listening to Jesus and doing what He says—is an act of faith—it is saying to Jesus—I trust You enough with my life—I am going to look to You—You are going to be the rock that I build my life on.  You are my firm foundation!

So let us be encouraged!!