Don’t really need my Google Maps these days. No need to bring up my WAVES app to find the quickest route to where I wanna go. ‘Cause not going much of anywhere. And anywhere I go, it’s a well worn path. And when I do go, it always looks like Sunday afternoon on the roads — no traffic jams to contend with. So, don’t really need my GPS these days.
Or do I?
Just got word from our governor yesterday that he’s extending our “stay at home” order until May 4. Not surprised. Expected. But when you hear it officially . . . heavy sigh. And the numbers increase. The danger is yet to pass. The suffering continues in so many ways on so many fronts. Can’t help but inform how you filter what God’s saying to you through His word.
So, when I read in Judges, I’m encouraged as Gideon fights through his fear. God faithful in taking a man who is “the least” in his father’s house, whose clan “is the weakest in Manasseh” (Judges 6:15), and promises to be with with him. And to enable him, though afraid, to be victorious in battles against idolatry and against the world.
Then my reading in Mark, and I’m inspired by a woman so put through the ringer that Jesus is her last chance at healing. Inspired because she believes with all her heart that if she can just get close enough to touch Jesus’ garments things are going to be ok. And her faith makes her well (Mark 5:34). I do believe, Lord . . . help my unbelief.
And then, as I read Paul’s assertion to the Corinthians, I’m reminded that even this current testing of our fidelity to God is not uncommon to man, but that God is faithful and, even with this testing, will provide the means to endure (1Corinthians 10:13).
All good stuff. Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.
But it’s Psalm 84 that resonates deeply this morning. Reminding me that I do need a GPS. I need a direction finder, especially in such discombobulating times. One that sets my mind on “things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col. 3:2). An internal app that continually directs me on the highways of the heart.
How lovely is Your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. . . . Blessed are those whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.
(Psalm 84:1-2, 5-7 ESV)
Blessed are those in whose heart are the highways to Zion. That’s what I’m chewing on this morning.
Blessed because on those highways of the heart there is strength. Strength even as they go through the Valley of Baca, literally the “lowland of weeping.” Strength in the valley. Even through the tears. Strength because the heart is set on highways leading to the place where God dwells. And on those highways, He is already, and He is always present. Making even the dry place where tears are shed “a place of springs.” Covering our sorrow with His all sufficient grace, the early rains of heaven covering the arid land of earth with pools of God’s presence.
Sure, the going will be slow. And could get pretty tough. And that’s why these highways are traveled “from strength to strength.” His mercies new every morning, His grace sufficient for the day. Gonna have to come back tomorrow for tomorrow’s manna. But today, today there will be sufficient strength in the One my heart and flesh sing for joy to, the living God.
All because of this Spirit-implanted, internal GPS that keeps me on the highways of the heart, the highways to Zion. The roads to the risen Christ. The paths towards the Prince of Peace. The lanes leading to the Lord of Life, . . . and life to the full . . . even when it’s the quarantined life. Amen?
By His grace. For His glory.