All shook up!
Have you ever read passages from Scripture and thought and wondered "Is this really possible"? I have. For instance, I was recently chatting with a friend who is experiencing deep loss and is in the depths of grieving. Within hours of that chat, I happened upon Psalm 16:8 which says, "I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
But there my friend is and there I have been - in that place of shakiness. So what does it mean "I will not be shaken?" Well, let me say right off here that it doesn't mean that we will never experience great sorrow, grieve deeply and some really shaky times. It also doesn't mean that we won't experience times of great pressure beyond our ability to endure and utterly at loss (1). No, not being shaken does not mean circumstances are easy or even at times seemingly bearable.
In this passage, the word "shaken" means that I will not slip, be moved, overthrown, broken and fall apart. How can this be? I've certainly felt like I was slipping, being moved, broken, and falling apart.
So how can I (and perhaps you) really say "I will not be shaken" when I feel all shook up? Do I deny my feelings? Do I pull myself up by my bootstraps and get on with it? Do I just get over it? What's my "Self-Talk"?
Psalm 16:8(a) says "I will keep my eyes always on the LORD, with him at my right hand." Plsam 16:8(a) tells me what I need to tell myself during shaky times.
So, I have good news for our souls today! In our shakiness, we can "feel like" we are going to slip, be moved, overthrown, broken and even fall apart but God tells us that we can look to Him and not be shaken. Because we know and remind ourselves that He is at our right hand - He is for us and with us, we will not slip, be moved, overthrown, broken, or fall apart.
Joshua 22:8 which reminds us to "cling to the Lord." And Jeremiah 13:11 which describes that clinging this way, "For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, cling to the Lord." What a beautiful picture of what to do during shaky times. Cling to the Lord!
I just love God's instructions to Joshua during what could have been a very shaky time. Here is Joshua 1:5-9 from the Amplified version. It says, "Only be strong (to be bound fast; attached to) and VERY courageous (alert physically, mentally); be careful to do according to all the law...do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success (the process of thinking through a complex arrangement of thoughts resulting in wise dealings and use of good practical common sense) wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous (bring success) and then you will have success (the process of thinking through a complex arrangement of thoughts resulting in wise dealings and use of good practical common sense)... Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble (dread, fear, break, be terrified) or be dismayed (shattered, broken, fall apart) for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Do your circumstances have you feeling shaky today? Cling tight dear friend... Keep your eyes always on the Lord, meditate on His word day and night and do accordingly so that you have the ability to think through the complexity of your circumstances and come through it knowing what to do! As you look to Him, cling to Him and His Word you steady yourself. Be strong, courageous, do not tremble or be afraid. Why and How? Remember the Lord and all He has done for you and provided for you through His Son Jesus. The Lord is great and awesome is with you wherever you go!
Are you feeling shaky? Check your "Self-Talk"!
(1) 2 Corinthians 1:8