Sunday, August 16, 2009

The 23rd Psalm & The Naughty Rebel Backslider

Where to start....? 10 years ago... 4 years ago...last year...? hmmm ...sigh... such a story as this deserves a better teller than I.

Peoples lives are such wonderous things. Even when they seem ugly and sorrowful there is something in them from which to draw hope.

I guess I'll start with scripture...

Psalms 23:1-6 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

This story is about someone's little sister or perhaps older sister, or daughter...maybe it might be yours...but its someone who has been part of my life and prayers for ten years now.

I guess I'll go back as far I can.

She was the Preachers Kid...You know the story. But she was a good kid. Loved the Lord and the bible. A good soul. Loved her Daddy and Mom.
Then one sad day for her and the rest of us...Daddy got called Home to be with Jesus. A happy day, but sad for those left here to move on without.

Now I dont pretend to know what this sort of thing does to a young person when they lose a parent, but to lose this parent in particular must have been incredibly hard. He was a really good man. He loved the Lord and preached the truth about being a man, being a Dad, being a husband.
Now in all honesty my life had gone another direction and I pretty much lost most of the relationship with this family.

Anyway, a few years passed and it seems that something happened that for all appearances seemed to indicate that this young girl turned young woman was falling away from...well from everything she'd been taught about being a christian.

Being the way things tend to be, the Lord seems to have worked to bring my family back into a relationship with this young lady's family. I've gotten to witness some good old-fashioned rebellion in this young woman. Just like I remember mine to be. Same words, same attitude, same lack of concern for the feelings of family members...(mine was much worse) was so interesting to watch it work itself out.

So to make this as short a ramble as I can...I go to a party that the family is having and the Lord being good the way He is, a great thing happened. A comforting thing happened.
I love to hear people quote scriptures that mean things to I ask several young people there to quote and I listened with my eyes close so I could catch every sound. I can hear the heart of the person speaking.

Finally, I ask this young lady if she has something memorized that she can quote...She hesitates of course...she's the naughty sister you know and proud of it to boot...but somewhere inside the little girl who loved her Daddy speaks..."I know the 23rd Psalm" she says. So I encourage her to say it. Well...I kind of implore her...I am addicted to this sort of thing. As she speaks I listen. I hear the voice hesitate and almost break...the scriptures are so powerful.
Somewhere inside The Naughty, Rebel, Backslider the Holy Spirit of God says to me, "Yes, I'm still here and she still loves Jesus even if she's not acting like it" ...

...and I know she'll be okay. For now...she's the Naughty, Rebel, Backslider....but not for always.

The story behind the 23rd Psalm. I asked her...

Because when she was a little girl....(yes I'm crying right now) she couldnt sleep, so Momma told her to recite the 23rd Psalm and she'd be able to sleep...and it worked. Better I think than Momma ever realized.

Parents....please...christian parents...hide those wonderful old words of life in the hearts of your children...someday those words just might preach to discouraged old man like me...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post! It is encouraging to know that the Lord still works in lives, even if we can't see it. There is always more in the heart then can be seen on the outside. Thus the saying, don't judge a book by it's cover.