I was going on about this blog to one of the ducklings, trying to explain about how the Christian faith still holds water when it just seems like it’s held together with sticky-tape and string. Somehow we got onto Psalm 23, probably we were talking about the “Beauty from ashes” post. Anyways, we got to talking about the bit where God says He will prepare a banquet for us in the middle of an enemy camp. It sounds good when you read it in the bible, but then we had one of those, “wait .. what ??” moments.
I don’t know about you, but if I was in the middle of battle, with bullets whizzing past my ear and mortars exploding nearby – and God suddenly appears with a fully laden buffet table and invites me to join him, the last thing I would feel comfortable doing is shouldering my rifle and helping myself to the meatballs …
We often talk about stepping out of our comfort zone. About trying something which makes us feel uncomfortable. Something radical like, inviting the stinky kid at school to sit next to you at lunch, or inviting the outcasts from work for a coffee. Wow .. hardcore .. Somehow, I can’t see this as being what was in David’s mind when he put together Psalm 23. I wonder if the it just came to him suddenly? A revelation from God, the words and prose pouring effortlessly into his curly-haired head, as he gazed through innocent blue eyes are the fields around him. Or did he sweat his way through it? One line line at a time over the months? Did he struggle to hold together vauge impressions long enough to be able to capture them and solidify them somehow in a song?
If this was joyous song of praise which welled up from a greatful heart, then maybe, yeah, it just flowed out. But this Psalm conveys a sense of determination. It feels that inspite of feeling that he is walking through the darkest of places filled, he will not fear anything. It seems that even though he feels surrounded by his enemies, David is confident of God’s presense and favour surrounding him. This could easily have been a period of his life through which David had to fight; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Life is shit right now, but God is good. Always.
David isn’t saying, “Sure it was tough then, but looking back I can see God was there.”. He is saying, “My life has fallen apart NOW, but God is here.”. That, takes faith and strength. A bucket load. And I suspect, not the warm fuzzy faith, but the “hanging on to a frayed rope with bloodied hands” kinda of faith.
I wonder then, what is the dark place I walking through? Who are the enemies infront of whom God is going to lay out a banquet table for me? How would you answer these questions?