Psalm 120 – 131
Tuesday, January 17
J.R.R. Tolkien, the author responsible for the conversion of C.S. Lewis, insisted that his series, The Lord of the Rings, was not a direct metaphor or allegory of the Christian message, yet this series is steeped in Tolkien’s faith. It reminds me of a popular phrase where I’m from, “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.” When you are living for Christ, everything you touch becomes infused with your faith.
One such example that parallels Christian faith and hope, is from the second book in the trilogy, The Two Towers. Go ahead and push up your glasses; indulge me. It’s about to get a little nerdy.
Near the climax of the story, the humans and elves are defending a last-resort fortress, Helm’s Deep. The orcs, which greatly outnumber their foes, have come to take the fortress in the night. They advance and breach the stronghold. It is only a matter of time before all is lost. At the moment when defeat is certain for the human-elf alliance, those who remain are reminded of a promise made by a wizard friend, Gandalf, “Look to my coming on the first light of the fifth day, at dawn look to the east.” As the sun rises over the mountain top, it reveals that Gandalf has literally “called in the cavalry,” assembling the Riders of Rohan. Using the dawn’s blinding light to their advantage, they charge down from the mountain, break the enemy ranks, and leave the orcs to retreat. Gandalf’s perfect planning was the difference in tragedy or triumph..
I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word. I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn. – Psalm 130:5-6
Norman Vincent Peale, minister and author of “The Power of Positive Thinking”, states that God answers prayers three ways: “yes, no, and wait a while”. “Yes,” is obviously the easiest answer to hear. We immediately receive the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4) and celebrate. “No,” is difficult to hear, but it brings closure. Knowing a door is closed, helps us move in a different direction (2 Samuel 12:13-22). However, “wait,” is the toughest of the three. “Wait,” means you must stay in the heat of battle (Exodus 17:8-12). “Wait,” means you must hold the enemy at bay (1 Corinthians 10:13). “Wait” means you must maintain tremendous trust, complete courage, and unfaltering faith to set aside what you want NOW, because God has a perfect time, one MUCH better than NOW, to fulfill His promise to you.
I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! – Psalm 121:1-2
Praise the Lord, who did not let their teeth tear us apart! We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap. The trap is broken, and we are free! Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. -Psalm 124: 6-8
And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.” Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! – Psalm 126:2-3
Whether it is college, career, children, or commitment that you are waiting upon, God is actively working on “amazing things,” preparing to fulfill and complete those who are willing to persevere (James 1:2-4). In the dead of night, when the odds are stacked against you, faithfully fight and look to the Lord and His promises for your help. He will soon overwhelm you with the victory that has long been set in motion.
(Photo credit: http://markryman.com/BLOG/2013/11/03/a-fortune-of-joy/ Original photo by YousefTOmar)