We are currently in the midst of a mission/training/pilgrimage program called the Fusion UK Summer Experience. As part of this we are following a daily journal that myself and my colleague, Anika put together. The psalm on Friday was the 84th psalm – a classic pilgrim song. I was struck as I read it on Friday night by one of the last verses:
‘No good thing does the Lord withhold from those whose walk is blameless’
I have struggled over the last months, coming to terms with the feeling that God has withheld some pretty important, good, things from me throughout my life and also in recent times. Some of them things which I have felt he had promised. Does this mean that his word and even his promises cannot be trusted? Does it mean that God is not kind and good? These are just a couple of questions I have been living with.
As I read that verse, something stirred within me, the part of me that knows that God is good, he is kind and above all he is God ….. absolutely trustworthy. It occurred to me that things can be blocked and withheld from us in many ways, and for many reasons. But if it is God who is withholding something from us, we can be certain of one thing – the thing withheld is not good, or not YET good. Moreover, its not even a matter of doing and saying the magic, right things, our blamelessness has been taken care of in Jesus – if we trust and receive his gift of redemption.
So as I consider my wrestling and making sense of life’s happenings and non-happenings, I can be sure that in the fullness of God’s purposes, no good thing will he withhold from my life. If I feel something is being withheld by God himself, I can be certain that it wouldn’t be good if it were released in this moment as I would wish. When it’s not God who is withholding and in fact he has given us the promised land, there is often a very real sense of us needing to step in and lay hold of it.
What things has God freely given to you that you need to access and lay hold of? Are there things that he is withholding from you? … perhaps they are not yet good….