But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.
– Psalm 73:2
My youngest son was born this week in 1981.
We nearly lost him at birth, and I was ill for a very long time afterward. The physical crash precipitated a spiritual crisis of faith. In the long months I struggled to regain my health, I often questioned God. Our family had tried so hard to serve Him, and I didn’t understand why He allowed me to be sick. My desperate prayers seemed to reach only an iron heaven above.
For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue parades through the earth.
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
And washed my hands in innocence;
For I have been stricken all day long
And chastened every morning.
– Psalm 73:3, 9, 13-14
The perception that those who mocked God often lived in comfort and arrogance around me fed my resentment. In my darker moments, I wondered what difference it made to serve God. How could He pour so much goodness upon vile people and distance Himself from those who sought Him?
If I had said, ‘I will speak thus,’
Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.
– Psalm 73:15
How little I really understood my heavenly Father. How much it must have hurt Him to see such distrustful eyes in the face of His child. I grappled with the hard lessons of His sovereignty, only realizing later the far-reaching implications of my struggle. Had I rejected His work in my life, I would have sinned against God.
I would have betrayed my generation.
Those who share this space in time with us need to hear the testimony of our faith.
The unbelievers need to see salvation being worked out in me. The believers need to see victory in trial. We all need the gospel preached daily through every believer’s life. In a moment of torment, we choose to make the next breath one of praise to Him or a curse. In doing so, we choose to impart victory or betrayal to our fellow sufferers.
When I pondered to understand this,
It was troublesome in my sight
Until I came into the sanctuary of God.
– Psalm 73:16-17
Years later, as we celebrate the birthday of our wonderful son, I can see how those dark days drove me to seek God out with all my heart, to get low enough to touch the hem of His garment. In the sanctuary of surrender, listening for His voice, I finally began to comprehend the magnitude of His grace.
Today, if you’re suffering, trust in your God. Breathe in His life. Breathe out His praise. Be encouraged because your loyalty to Him speaks to a generation yearning for more.