I have to admit I wasn't sure I'd be as excited with pregnancy #3 as I was with #s 1 and 2. I am.
I absolutely LOVE feeling the baby move. It is my hands-down favorite part of being pregnant. Last night I was working on getting our latest newsletter into envelopes and the baby decided to turn a complete somersault in my belly. I actually shouted a little. It was the most awkward and strange feeling. And then, I could totally feel his/her body bulging on the right side below my ribs. How absolutely amazing is it that there is a little life living inside of me?
I will never cease to marvel at God allowing us to be part of His marvelous creation!
Today's message at church was a continuation of teaching through the Book of Matthew, but our pastor focused on Psalm 73 to help us better understand what "the pure in heart" means in the beatitudes. It was one of his best teachings ever, I think.
The psalm, penned by Asaph, begins with a declaration of God's goodness. Then, he spends the first half of the verses talking about what he sees around him. He says he almost slipped. Then, he explains it. He basically says 'I look around and see all these people who don't love God but who have all this good stuff. They spend lots of effort on what they wear and they look good! They have abundance and just keep getting more. They aren't plagued with the typical strife of man.'
I completely understood Asaph. Yep, I've looked around and envied those who seemed to be fine not living for God but having all the worldly pleasures you can imagine...even the simple ones, like a nice minivan! Who really envies that? Well, this mom of little ones does! or has!
In verse 13 he even goes so far as to say that he has kept his heart pure in vain! Boy, I can totally relate. In fact, one big major horrible blot in my past can be traced to me saying words very similar to those uttered by Asaph right here. Unlike Asaph, I didn't regain my focus before it was too late.
But, then Asaph regains his focus. (And, eventually I did too.) In verses 16 and 17 he says he tried to understand it but couldn't until he came back face-to-Face with the Lord.
All things come back into perspective once we humble ourselves and move back into a right place with Jesus on the throne and our eyes trained on Him!
Throughout the second half of the psalm Asaph sees things as they really are. He sees that those shiny things that were so tempting will be gone one day. He sees that those who seem to prosper are really miserable deep inside. He sees that while they appear to have peace in death, they will have no peace eternally. Then he says:
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?This teaching reminds me of a psalm the Lord led me to when I was preparing to share with the ladies of my church in May. Psalm 27 talks about fear. While the "topic" is different, the turning point is exactly the same. The psalmist David is proclaiming that he shall not fear because the Lord is for him. In verse 4 he explains why he has this confidence--seeking God. When our eyes are trained on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, we cannot get distracted by anything else--not wealth and the seeming prosperity around us and not fear!
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
I just absolutely love when God gives me a specific word. This theme of keeping my eyes on Jesus has been echoed many times in the last week.
We're gradually putting the house back in order after having our floors redone. Joel finished painting baseboards this weekend and hung all of the trim in the living room today. We might get shelves back in place by next weekend.
Considering all the Lord is teaching me, it feels kinda trite to be talking about floors and housing projects. But, all things in perspective. And, I'm asking God to continue to guide us in what these verses should look like fleshed out in our lives.
Oh, and that reminds me, I'm almost finished with the book Death by Suburb by Goetz. Challenging. It's been a part of all that God's teaching me. Sometimes I'm not very good at putting it all into words, so you may or may not read more about it soon.