The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Who will vindicate us?


Some days it makes a person wonder if it pays to be good. You do something good; people take advantage of you and even try to destroy your reputation. This is not a new phenomenon. Over 3,000 years ago the Psalmist complained,

Those who repay my good with evil
lodge accusations against me,
    
though I seek only to do what is good. – Psalm 38:20

What to do? We can continue to do good and leave the judgment to others. The Psalmist offered this plea:

Lord, do not forsake me;
   
do not be far from me, my God. 
Come quickly to help me,
    
my Lord and my Savior. – Psalm 38:21-22

Sometimes we just have to live by what is right and believe that God will be with us and vindicate us. – Ron Friesen

Friday, November 29, 2013

Looking for justice...


When we see people who do not follow the rules and laws succeed we are tempted to wonder what we gain by living by the statutes of the land. We are not alone in this temptation; the Psalmist wondered the same. What are we to do with our feelings of frustration and unfairness? Here is the Psalmist’s antidote to the temptation:

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    
and he will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 34:3-4

When we take our eyes off our frustration and anger and turn them onto God, we find that there are rewards beyond our puny cries for justice. At the end of the day we can sleep with a clear conscience. Great rewards come to those who lean hard on God who loves to give us the true desires of our hearts. – Ron Friesen

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Meditation


Happy Thanksgiving Day! I present to you one of the great hymns from the Psaltery for your meditation and reflection today – Psalm 145:

1
I will exalt you, my God the King;
    
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
    
and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
   
 they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b]
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
    
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
    
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
    
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 
All your works praise you, Lord;
    
your faithful people extol you.
11 
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
    
and speak of your might,
12 
so that all people may know of your mighty acts
    
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
    
and faithful in all he does.
14 
The Lord upholds all who fall
    
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 
The eyes of all look to you,
    
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 
You open your hand
 
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    
and faithful in all he does.
18 
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    
to all who call on him in truth.
19 
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
    
he hears their cry and saves them.
20 
The Lord watches over all who love him,
    
but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.




Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Eve Meditation


On this eve of Thanksgiving in the United States, I cannot think of a more fitting meditation than those written by the Psalmist over 3,000 years ago:

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
    
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
    
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    
in your light we see light. – Psalm 36:7-9

As you prepare to share this season of Thanksgiving reflect on these words. Even if your dinner table is sparse and your room empty of all save your own thoughts take a moment to reflect on what it means to be a child of God who is always present with you. Notice how often the Psalmist says, “your” and “you” in these few verses. Be embraced by your God who is your life to day. – Ron Friesen

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How long, O God?


How long, God? How long? Have you ever said these words? You said them, shaking in your boots, wondering if God was going to strike you dead. You said them and you are still reading this so God is more patient with your anger then you think. Human literature is filled with the cries of people, including devout followers of God asking, “How long, God? How long?” Over 3,000 years ago the Psalmist asked this question:

How long, Lord, will you look on?
 Rescue me from their ravages,
 my precious life from these lions.
I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you. – Psalm 35:17-18

The Psalmist does not base his praise of God based on God’s deliverance from his enemies; the Psalmist makes a choice to praise God even if there is no immediate sign of God’s intervention. My cousin, Henry, is going through a difficult time right now. His wife, Erica, has gone missing from their home for over 49 days. In the middle of his anguish, Henry is still writing Psalms of praise to God because he knows God is greater than even this terrible trial. It is all a matter on what you cast your eyes on – your circumstances or God who is greater than your circumstances. – Ron Friesen