Lore Ferguson and I don't always agree on our theology, but I have a deep respect for her faith. She consistently draws us back to Jesus and the Gospel with her writing. I hope you can hear and feel that in her words today. Her voice is a blessing to many, including me.
I've heard it often, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue," but this morning I am reading Psalm 62 and the second section says it more clearly:
How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? They only plan to thrust him down from his high position. They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse.
I have blessed with my mouth, my pen, and my words, while inwardly I have prayed for ruin, for the end of one's folly, for the fall of their public ministry. I have felt like the leaning wall and tottering fence in a world wrought with battering opinions thrown in every direction but heavenward, under the ministering eyes of a sovereign God. I have had pleasure in falsehood—my only aim to see my kingdom succeed, my theology in the majority, my leadership thrust into high positions. And I have been at the toppling end of another's hope to thwart me and the ones I love.
I have fallen hard and I have hit rock.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge in God.
This morning I think about the simplicity of salvation. How the all knowing and good God plucked me from amongst scoffers and charlatans and claimed, "This one! This one is mine. I have saved her soul from the toppling end of everything and set her feet on a rock."
I sit in that truth because without the joy of salvation it is easy to get tangled in the mess of faith, in the depths of doubt, and in the web of apologetics and certainty. It is easy to let my tongue minister death instead of life, to hope for destruction instead of healing. But it is easier still to lift my eyes to the solid rock, the fortress, the unshakable truth of God alone and the salvation He's given me. And oh, what Joy!
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
My name is Lore (Lor-ee) Ferguson. In every particle of life we're hearing messages, people are saying words at us, shouting them over the noise of the day. My hope is that Sayable is a place where the message is quiet, encouraging, and somewhat simple. My goal is to see a generation of dechurched, second generation Christians, or the ragged and hurt, come to the joy of what the gospel means deep down.
Add the link to your post about Psalm 62 below. Make sure to read someone else’s post, too! Or join next week with a post on Psalm 63.
I love to read Lore Ferguson. Her words overflow with the desire to honor Christ in all that she says and does. She brings a unique perspective the the challenge of how we can find wonder in the Christmas story.
O holy night, the stars are brightly shining; It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth! Long lay the world in sin and error pining, Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
A friend put her hand on me the other night and prayed words like this, "God, I pray she would know her worth..." Right before that, another friend put a box in my hands, a plain cardboard box on which she'd penned dozens of words in permanent marker. "They're words that describe you," she said. An email came as the moments ticked past midnight; "This is who you are to me..." it said. Hundreds of facebook greetings peppered with a few that said, "this is how God has created you and we love it."
And I ring out the last minutes of my birthday with tears in my eyes.
Because the worth is heavy on me.
I ask God a lot why He created me this way. Don't you? Don't you ask Him why He knit you together in ways that confuse and confound you? Don't you ask why this injustice makes you want to throw fists in every direction and why this glimpse of beauty makes you want to weep? Don't you ask why you love this person so deeply, even though it seems, to every eye cast on you, that you are making a mistake? Don't you ask why you can't eat what the slimmest girl in your circle can down in three bites and why, no matter how hard you try, you cannot wrap your mind around what seems so simply grasped by others?
The particulars are different, I'm sure. The beauty of creation is that no two things are identical. But the asking is the same. Why did you design me this way? Why did you look at this part of me and call it worthy? Why did you attach worth to the things about me that I fight and why, God, did you make me this way?
Because, God, I'll be honest. I'm laying in my sin. I'm pining after my errors. I love my mistakes so much that I keep making them over and over again, always believing in the ideal, that someday I'll get it right. And when someone attaches worth to me, I am sick with doubt in the pit of my stomach: they can't possibly mean that. If they knew the real me, the deepest parts, they wouldn't say that.
And then, a thrill of hope. A small pocket that starts as a lump in my throat and moves to a stirring in my heart. A pulse so small I can barely feel it, but a knowing, a feeling, a soul sighing, a piece of joy. A certainty of His intentionality.
Every moment we feel our worth to Him, He appears.
He shouts, breaking in, throwing his grand cloak over our unrighteousness, our unworthiness, our most tender parts and our weakest shames. She's mine! He says. He's mine! He says. I'm claiming this weary soul. I'm calling its worth.
A new and glorious morn.
My name is Lore Ferguson. Yup. It’s pronounced Lor-ee. I began blogging in 2000, when blog wasn’t a word and we still thought you could keep things private on the internet. I haven’t stopped writing since then, though the nature of my site has changed with time, but for nearly a year I’ve been seeking to blog for God’s glory alone. My goal is to see a generation of dechurched, second generation Christians, or the ragged and hurt, come to the joy of what the gospel means deep down. I blog at Sayable and tweet @loreferguson.
Wonder: Rediscover the Christmas Story is an Advent series designed to help us pause and reflect on how amazing the stories of Jesus’ birth really are. To break through the cluttered busyness of the season and touch our hearts with the awe of what God has done. Let’s make this a season of wonder and worship, marveling together at our great God.