Over the next several posts, I am going to share some thoughts from Marva Dawn in her book I'm Lonely, Lord, How Long: Meditations on the Psalms.
Loneliness is a common experience in retirement.
This will be my way of using the acrostic MEDITATE:
Memorize, Emphasize, Define, Illustrate, Think about, Apply, Tell about, Enjoy God with
“Of course it will seem that we wrestle with our thoughts far too long. As long as we are depending upon our own thoughts, the anguish will continue. Only when we are finally reduced to the point of helplessness, the realization that we will never be able to deal with our loneliness or grief by ourselves, will we give in to chesedh and let God bring to us the gifts of His love.
When we finally let God be God for us and participate in His plans willingly, we can discover the JOY of them. There are times when our circumstances make happiness impossible, but we can experience profound JOY when we are aware that in His chesedh.
God is able to transform the direst of circumstances. The essence of the matter is that we can't experience the truth of chesedh in the reality of our feelings until we know it first as a fact of faith. We still wonder how long, yet deep underneath we are convinced that ultimately chesedh reigns because that is the way God has always dealt with His people.
God. the promising I AM has always been faithful to His promises. Surely He will not single us out as individuals to withhold from us His chesedh. In that fact we can trust, even before it has sunk into our feelings.
The Hebrew language doesn't have past, present, or future tense verbs as our English does. Its verbs indicate simply completed or uncompleted action. The verb here for rejoicing is in the the imperfect, or incomplete, form. The action is continually going on.
If we are not experiencing JOY in God's deliverance yet, we can confidently look forward to the time when we will. Furthermore, that very assurance that His chesedh will not fail us, that someday He will come through with deliverance, enables us to rejoice now in the meantime. The delightful irony is that usually the change in attitude is the deliverance.”
HAS BEEN GOOD
“Sometimes it helps to look back to the past. Not only will we be able someday to sing because we will have learned how He has been good to us in this situation, but also right now we can sing because He has been good to us in the past.
We can train our minds to turn to memories of those times (when God sent His love in some personal way) and thus be strengthened by the precious instances when the ‘how long?' came crashing to a halt in the wonder of God's chesedh.”