Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Last Resort is the Only Hope

LORD, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I do not get involved with things
too great or too difficult for me.
Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself
like a little weaned child with its mother;
I am like a little child.
(Psalm 131:1-2, HCSB)
David comes before God like a little child. He is not trying to figure out everything — or anything. He has weaned himself away from all that. He is coming simply to be with God, to sit calmly and quietly with Him. He has come to the place in his life where that is more than enough for him.

That is how we each must come before God, like little children. Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). It is a position of utter dependence. Just as a little child is helpless apart from his parents, we must realize that we are completely helpless apart from God alone.

The pervading delusion is that we have any viable option beside God. That was the lie the serpent sold Adam and Eve. God had already created them in His own image, and to be like Him (Genesis 1:26-27). But the devil conjured up an “alternative” before their eyes: If they would take the forbidden fruit for themselves, they would be gods in their own right. So they “exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25).

They thought they had options, but came to realize, to their great sorrow, that what they had chosen led them only to emptiness and despair.

After years of wantonness and waste, and a life of exercising his “options,” St. Augustine came to this profound conclusion, recorded in his Confessions: “God, You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in You.” He had come now to the last resort and discovered, joyfully, that it was his only hope, and more than enough.

David, king of Israel, calmed and quieted his heart from all other matters apart from God. His heart and his eyes are no longer full of himself; his hand does not reach for things that did no belong to him. He is satisfied in God alone, and from that place of quietness and contentment, he gives this wise counsel to his people:
Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
(Psalm 131:3)
The joyful discovery in life is that your last resort is the only hope you will ever need. Put your hope in the LORD, both now and forever.

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