{slowly going through the Psalms of Ascent….they are becoming my prayers on this heart journey I am on….hope this makes sense}

The house is huge.  There are all sorts of bright colors and flashing lights enticing me to come in.  The music coming from it is an eerie mix that invites my feet to bounce along rhythmically without thinking.  The line of people waiting to enter appeals to my sense of not wanting to miss out.

But once I enter the “Fun House” at the fair, I find the inside to be a series of strange and distorted corridors – not a “house” at all.  There are stairs that move under my feet and a group of mirrors that bend and twist my image into ridiculous reflections.  As I walk through this labyrinth, there are places that the floor drops out from under me, only to jut up into my next step.  And to exit I must navigate my way through a spinning, whirling tube causing me to list to one side, fall down, and roll back to the bottom of this orange and yellow keleidescope.

This would all seem like a lot of fun if  it wasn’t a picture of my life right now.  Rolling, tumbling, trying to catch my balance before and I fall and distorted pictures of who I am.  Too much noise, too much color, too much jolting and upheaval….really, just too much!

So I cry with the Psalmist,

Woe is me for I sojourn in Meshech.  For I dwell among the tents of Kedar.  Too long has my soul had its dwelling with those who hate peace….”

Everything in me cries out to escape this place!!  Then the strangest thing happens…I look over to the operator of this disturbing ride and I see Jesus.  We make eye contact, He nods, smiles and in that moment lets me know it is time to leave.

I do not claim to be a theologian but the longer I walk with God, the larger His ways and love expand beyond my capability.  Here I am being jolted and tumbled, unsettled and disturbed and it is Him that is doing it!!  I want calm and He seemingly brings chaos.  I want safety and He brings disturbance.

Dan Allander writes “our striving for {self-protection} must be interrupted by a prophetic voice that will sing cacophony to undermine our idolatry.”  (Now that is a sentence to unpack and not move away from too quickly!!)  Jesus Himself sings this dissatisfaction into my life…in order for me to get up and leave!!  He wishes to undermine those answers – even the good ones – that I trust in to bring me life without Him.  (The crazy thing is…I feel like He previously gave me some of those answers and now He is shaking them to a breaking point!)

Lord, I feel like You are singing noises and moving structures that are causing my “pocket gods” to fall off the shelf and my whole house to rumble.  I know not what needs to happen…but I will ask you to continue to bring rumblings of dissatisfaction until I am willing to leave the house, put on my shoes and go on a new journey with You.

And so my journey with the Psalms of Ascent begins.  They begin where so many journeys begin – with harsh, discordant tones.  But it is that very pain “that penetrates through despair and stimulates a new beginning” (Eugene Peterson).  Psalm 120 says “In my trouble I cried to the Lord and He answered me”.  He answered with disturbance, dissatisfaction and the shaking of the “fun” house because this I know….before I am willing to go on a journey, I must, by necessity, also be willing to leave somewhere I have already been.

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