A Favorite Psalm and a Finished Book

“Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; You have given command to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress.” Psalm 71:3 NASB

Psalm 71:3 has been one of my favorite verses as a Christian since early on.  I love this verse because it focuses on the strength and power of God not only to save such a sinner like me but also to keep me till the end, into old age and wherever else may come. This verse utters the longing of my heart since conversion and prayer for the rest of my life… no matter what lies ahead.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).  When we abide with Him, it is through faith in Christ alone, and it is only by His grace.  That is why this must be our cry– that He may graciously and continually draw us to Himself even as we are prone to go astray.  The Bible says that the heart is deceitful (Jer 17:9).  None, of us—not even Mary, the mother of Jesus, was perfect.  She went along with her other sons to try to divert Jesus away from His God-given mission while He was in Galilee (Mark 3:31, Matthew 12:46).[1]  Quoting the Old Testament, Romans affirms to us that there is no even one righteousness person apart from Jesus (Romans 3:10-18, 5:19, Hebrews 7:26-28).

In light of this, we need Christ to clothe us with His righteousness for salvation.  We are to put on His rightness robe.  Then, desire to keep by His side.  We need truth to reveal our sin and guard our hearts.  Seek to be filled with His Spirit and dwell in His presence. The prayer here is for us to frequently be at home with Christ and make truly Him our adobe—while we sojourn on earth as much as in heaven.

While Josh was in the hospital for more than a month suffering immensely, I witnessed God answer this prayer in His life.  My beloved’s faith was tested like never before.  Healing in an earthly sense became less and less likely, and pain increased more and more.  Nonetheless, Josh clung to His faith in Jesus as His Refuge.  When my beloved gasped for air while looking pale, beaten, and mutilated, God gave me the grace to carry on and whisper to him, “Its ok babe.”  When I had to return to his bedside, and his body lay still and grew colder and stiffer by the minute, Christ was my resting place.  The moment Josh passed away, I knew Josh was in His glorious presence, and it was to His presence I sought to hide from all the anxiety, depression, and fear that threatened to bewilder me.

I am reminded of this as I proofread the book that God graciously allowed me to complete, “On Loan from the Lord.” The writing process was painful and wrought with many tears as I relived our life together and our parting ways.  It tempted me to seek other refuges’ for comfort.  But God is faithful.  He graciously woos me to abide in Him alone as my Rock and my mighty fortress.  It took two years to accomplish the memoir while processing my own grief along with that of my two children— ages 11 and 3, who grieve so differently.  I still struggle with grief in various forms, yet in Christ, I have found a deliverer from my every trying hour.  I hope the book will encourage others to draw closer to God when dealing with loss, unexpected diagnoses, heartache, or trials.

Lord willing, the book will be available on Amazon and Kindle next week!!

 

[1] Culver, Robert.  The Earthly Career of Jesus, The Christ: A Life in Chronological, Geographical and Social Context.  (Ross-shire: Christian Focus Publications, 2002), 120-121.

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