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Wineskin in the Smoke

Chris in the standing frame - alert!
I've been going through Psalm 119 while leading an online group devotion each morning. Today's reading included verse 83 which says I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke, exhausted with waiting, but I cling to Your principles and obey them. (NLT 1996) Now to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what a wineskin does in the smoke. But after asking google, I have determined that they shrivel up, dry out and become useless. That was pretty much my guess anyway.

Do you ever feel dried up and useless? I do sometimes. It seems there's not a lot of social interaction and during those long, drawn-out alone times, it can start to feel like we are separated from the normalcy of life. Because of the trauma which launched me into caregiving, oftentimes I feel like I have lived two lives, now and BC (before caregiving). They look very different. If I don't keep my mind on the word and the truth that God doesn't change even when life does, I can become depressed, upset, worried, and feel like I'm dried up and useless.

Isn't it interesting that this King of Israel, this highly feared and revered warrior - felt useless? I mean come on. He took out bears and lions bare-handedly. He killed Goliath for crying out loud! He ruled as king. Yet somehow he felt useless? Like a wineskin in the smoke.

Maybe it's not about us. Maybe it's a multi-generational attack of the enemy to try to devalue us. Perhaps it's a very well used (and effective) tool of the enemy used to distract us and slowly conquer us. Because, if David felt it, I feel that way sometimes, and a few others perhaps do too - it's not us.

And that's why the last part of this verse becomes more important.But I cling to Your principles and obey them. I believe we could easily substitute "Your word" for "Your principles." No matter how we feel, good or bad, we can cling to His word. It is His word that has revived me, rejuvenated me, comforted me, refilled me, and continues to keep me moving toward His heart. It's not about how we feel, it's about the constancy of His word through what we feel.

Today, I am going to ignore how I feel. I'm going to turn my thoughts to His word and away from my situation and feelings. My meditations will be on His faithfulness and how His word still works in my heart - no matter what I feel, or what situation I find myself in. Instead of thinking about me today - I'm going to keep my thoughts in his word, and trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

Comments

  1. This is lovely, I too found this verse today and it has really encouraged me, thank you.

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