psalm xxx – I shall be moved

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

Now in my prosperity I said,
“I shall never be moved.”
Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;
You hid Your face, and I was troubled.
I cried out to You, O Lord;
And to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my blood,
When I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You?
Will it declare Your truth?
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me;
Lord, be my helper!”

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

- ps xxx (nkjv)
Now in my prosperity I said,
“I shall never be moved.”
Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;
You hid Your face, and I was troubled

How often have I said “I shall never be moved” and been cut down? Countless. But who doesn’t want to be unmovable? How impressive is the hero who does not suffer? How attractive is the self-sufficient man or woman whose misery is short-lived and unproblematic? How unattractive is the stressed mother who lashes out at her children or the distant husband who seeks intimacy outside his marriage? How unattractive is the person who is moved by the world and driven like a barnyard animal to their trough of choice as though it holds salvation?

But this is reality: we shall always be moved in this life. Vulnerability will always exist for us here and it cannot be conquered by force of will or proper mindset. Our minds claw onto the good gifts of this life: intimacy, security, entertainment, and strangle them for the nectar of eternal life that they cannot provide. When we do that, we grasp the perishable gift and say “I shall never be moved”, only to find it comforting for a moment. God is the only one who may say “I shall never be moved” and it is our place to accept the uncomfortable reality: “I shall be moved“. 

Being moved is a scary thing. I don’t want it. I want detached freedom from any and all suffering and difficulty. I want to feel nothing when things are difficult like a Buddha meditating atop a secluded pillar in the desert. But that is not the life God has for us. It was not the life of Christ who could very well have entered our experience and never be moved if he wished. It is to be a post-Edenic human to be moved and to be hurt. To be perishable and to worry. But it is to be a Christian to turn from the inward, moving turmoil to the eternal, immovable God. It is to be like Christ to take the full brunt of this shifting sand of a world and say “I will be moved, but God will never.” You cannot deal with this life, but Christ has overcome the world for you (jn 16:33). Your weakness is real, but His strength is so much more. He can make you the bravest warrior and the most competent counselor because it is up to Him, not you, what you are capable of.

His help will come and go. That’s how it feels, anyway. But He is ever present with you. Take a break for a second from the endless list of doubts and fears to look once more at the God who has done all for you. He is not there to guilt you for being so movable, nor is He just a resource to tap for some divine inspiration. The resurrected God is in your midst (matt 28:20) promising an end to this pain and His perpetual presence. Weeping is temporary because God says so. You are loved because God says so. Nothing this world offers you will ever compare or sate you so much as a constant clinging these promises of the unchangeable God. 

<— psalm xxix psalm xxxi —>