Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Party Going On

I was at my daughter's graduation party, when a friend came up to me and told me this story.  She had been out of town and on her recent return was sorting through the mail.  She saw my daughter's grad invite and as she flipped it over the little card fell out inviting her to the party.  With urgency in her voice and with her southern accent she declared to her husband, "Oh my, this party is happenin' right now!  Hurry up, get ready.  We are missin' a party!"  I have to admit, her story tickled my funny bone. 

This week I read from Psalm 81 and cannot help but apply this story to my life.  Oh the things we miss by preoccupation with worries, agendas, and distractions.  We are invited to intimate relationship with the Creator of the Universe, but so often we miss it!  Hear the cry of the Lord, "if you would but listen to me, O Israel!", and again, "if my people would but listen to me!"  God desires to fill us.  He has so much good in store for us, but we are missin' it!  "Open wide your mouth and I will fill it", declares the Lord, and "you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you." (Psa. 81:8,10,11,13,16) Can't you just hear the longing in His voice? 

This has even more significance when we understand the celebratory feasts of Israel.  Barley was poor man's bread and at the end of its harvest there was a one day celebration to transition into the wheat harvest. But it was at the end of the wheat harvest that the real party took place, a week long celebration. The barley was but a tease for the good stuff, the wheat, nourishment fit for a king.  God has ready for us, not just wheat, but finest wheat, and honey from the rock! 

What does all this mean?  That God is so eager to fill us with Himself, to satisfy our hearts, but we miss it!  We drown out His voice with our stuff or we focus on ourselves and "what we will wear, or what we will eat," or what people think. (Matt. 6:25) The party is happenin' right now people!  We must get ourselves ready with a fully surrendered heart and then, get on over to the party! 

We also enjoyed watching the eclipse this week.  We stood out in the yard and with sunglasses layered inside a welding mask, we were able to look at the sun and watch as the moon forged its path between us and the sun, blocking the light.  And how true of us, that when we place other things in our focus, it comes between us and our fellowship with God, blocking the righteousness which God means to shine so brilliantly in us.  

Last Sunday my husband delivered a message on Hebrews 12:1,2 and it really struck a chord with me.   As we "throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles," then we can "run with perseverance the race marked out for us."  But the way to throw off that weight of sin is to "fix our eyes on Jesus..."  Looking only to Jesus is the pivotal point of the entire two verses!  And I've realized that my focus has been preoccupied with concerns which block my ability to run the race of life well. 

Worship of God tends to be the first thing which slips out the door when I get entangled in my worries.  I often turn to food, movies, facebook, or sleep in order to sooth my emotional needs.  But oh the sadness I must bring to the heart of God when I turn to things so trivial!  He offers such sustaining sustenance in Himself. 

Lately my prayer has been, "let my life flow in ceaseless praise."  I no longer want to be a complaining grump, but desire the fullness of God in me.  We sing the old hymn, "oh for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise."  I don't need a thousand tongues!  All I need is for this one mouth to praise Him.  I, for one, do not want to miss the party, especially one so grand as this!  What are we looking at?