Echoes From the Campfire

No system of philosophy or ethics, no growth of government, no improvement in living came without trial and struggle.  Struggle…was the law of growth.”
               –Louis L’Amour  (Crossfire Trail)

     “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
               –Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)
Do you see things happening that just jerk your jaws?  Do people or issues cause the bile to churn and cause you deep consternation?  You do your best not to be quarrelsome, not to argue or say the wrong thing.  Biting your tongue is hard, but you realize that there is little you can do in those power circles, in fact, you understand that there is little you can do about those around you.  Instead you sigh, take a deep breath, and hold your peace…for so long, then it breaks loose.
     Here is the first portion of Psalm 39, we find David in a similar situation.  The tension is building, the fire burns hotter, and he is ready to explode.  Enough is enough, then you remember, as did David–the Lord.  We who flow in the midst of emotions, if we are like David, look to the Lord.  E.B. Pusey, speaks of this, “Sweet it is that our hope should rest in him who never changes, should bind us to him who alone is the full contentment of the soul, should enter into him, since in him is our being.”

     1 – I said, “I will guard my ways so that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle as long as the wicked are in my presence.”
     2 – I was speechless and quiet; I kept silent, even from speaking good, and my pain intensified.
     3 – My heart grew hot within me; as I mused, a fire burned.  I spoke with my tongue:
     4 – “Lord, reveal to me the end of my life and the number of my days.  Let me know how short-lived I am.
     5 – You, indeed, have made my days short in length, and my life span as nothing in Your sight.  Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor.  Selah
     6 – “Certainly, man walks about like a mere shadow.  Indeed, they frantically rush around in vain, gathering possessions without knowing who will get them.
     7 – Now, Lord, what do I wait for?  My hope is in You. (HCSB)

     I’m sure you can relate to David’s frustration, for I sure can.  Admit it, inside you’ve felt it; that seething volcano ready to erupt.  The frustration continues to build, and you turn on yourself–what is life?  It is as David says, “short.”  Another version puts it as the “width of your hand.”  Your, my, time on earth is brief in the light of eternity, so what are you doing about it?  Oh, how we can relate to verse 6, “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.” (NLT)  Here, it reads, “they frantically rush around in vain.”
     MacBeth lamented, “Out, out, brief candle!  Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.  It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”  Hmmm, was Shakespeare thinking of Psalm 39?  Oh, friend, I trust that your life is not being told by “an idiot.”  MacBeth stopped short of the truth.  Even in his anger and frustration David knew where to turn–he turned to the Lord.  In the midst of the frustrations of life see the Lord as David did–“My hope is in You.”

                 “I take your promise, Lord, in all its length,
                 And breadth, and fullness, as my daily strength,
                 Into life’s future fearless I may gaze,
                 For Jesus, you are with me all my days.”
                         –Henry Deck