Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Distress & Sin.....

Franci and I have recently started reading Psalms together. We read one Psalm before we go to bed just about every night and after reading we pray then go to sleep. Well, reading the Bible in spanish in the King James version does nothing for me. I just can't understand it! So, I've been reading Psalms on my own in English to better understand what we are reading at night. Psalm 4 has been stuck with me for a few days now. I read this Psalm and immediatley verse 1 reminds me of one of my favorite verses, 1 John 5:14-15 that says, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His Will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of Him." I love this verse because it gives me confidence in God's faithfulness and I know that if what I'm asking for is in line with His will, I'll have it, its only a matter or timing.
But, what's really stuck with me in Psalm 4 is the fact that David is in distress, he's in trouble, he's in a bad situation and he's pleading to God. I'm not in the same situation as David. I'm not being accused, I don't have a kingdom turning their back on me, I'm not being slandered. What I'm going through is nothing compared to David but I can relate to being in a frustrating situation. Normally I'm a very easy going and happy girl, but these last few days our situation has been wearing on me. Especially yesterday. Yesterday was our day off and I was so excited since we didn't get a day off the week before. I wanted to be lazy and just enjoy the day. Well, I went to go take a shower at about noon and there was no more water! Our water tank gets filled up every night and that's all the water we have for the day. Beause of this, we are trying to be cautious of our water usage and have a shower schedule where everyone gets 4 showers a week. Yesterday was my day and without a shower yesterday I would have to wait until Wednesday to get a shower.....yuck! But, I wasn't too distressed about not getting a shower because Pastor Herman and his wife Diana have been so gracious and open with us. They have told us we can use their shower, washing machine and anything we need at their house. We are so incredibly blessed to be working with them. They don't have much but they are willing to share what they have with us!
I was going to go over to their house to shower but had to find something to wear. I started digging through my bags of clothes and got frustrated and tired of digging through bags for 3 weeks. Its hard to find anything and its just plain anoying after such a long time. When we packed up in Arequipa I had no idea I would be living out of these bags for almost a month. Otherwise, I would have organized everything differently. I got so frustrated I couldn't find anything to wear and stopped myself. I went into my room, onto my computer and called my Momma. I just needed my Momma at that moment. But as I was calling her on skype, the internet went out! Thank goodness, I have my skype calls fowarded to my cell phone and Momma called me back. Since the internet wasn't working the call forwarded to my cell phone and I was able to vent and cry to my Momma. I felt so much better after talking to Mommy and getting some tears out.
After my conversation with my Mommy I found some clothes and walked in my pj's with a towel, clothes, and shampoo in hand the 1/4 mile to pastor's house. I got a quick but hot shower and felt much better. How funny I must have looked, a gringa with no make up, messy hair, in sweats walking the streets of Puno carrying shower stuff. haha!
This is a time of distress for me. I have been easily frustrated the past few days as this situaton of not being settled, not having a place to put my stuff, and not having water has been wearing on me. The first two weeks of discomfort really didn't bother me. But now, I struggle daily to keep a good attitude. Well, this is where Psalm 4 comes in. I have been thinking over and over on verse 4 part a, "In your anger do not sin;". Ouch! It's when things are going wrong that its so much easier to fall into sin. And during these days I have been thinking, at this point in my walk with God, what are the sins I struggle with? On Sunday night Pastor Herman preached on Colossians chapter 3 and I was slapped in the face a list of sins I struggle with. I struggle with thinking of earthly things too often (what to wear, money, etc.), I can be greedy, I struggle with valuing my computer more than my Bible, I can be impatient and self-centered, I can be anxious, ungrateful and more. These things, these sins I struggle with, are heightened in times of distress like right now.
So that takes us to verses 5 and 8 in Psalm 4. David decided that in his time of distress he must not worry and fall into sin, but instead trust in God. He decides to stay away from sin and the problems he is facing, but instead put his trust and problems in God's hands. After he does this, he can "lie down an sleep in peace" in the safe, strong arms of our Savior.
My prayer is that we can all recognize when we are in times of distress and instead of running to our vices, that we run to God, that we stay away from sin no matter where we are on the road with Christ. We all need to put our problems and trust in Him and instead of sinning and worrying, we have the opportunity to rest in His arms, what an awesome exchange!

Psalm 4
Answer me when I call to you
O my righteous God
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
the Lord will hear when I call to him.
In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord.
Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?"
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.
You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.
I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

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