The challenge of walking with the God who knows me  

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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Psalm 128

“Enjoy the blessing, revel in the goodness”

We were hard pressed financially and with a number of needs upon us.  It was Christmas time which always has its pressures, but in addition to this there were a couple of needs that were fairly significant and it would seem could not wait.  The first was quite understandable: a vacuum cleaner.  Eva was having to wash all the floors every day to clear the flat of all the construction dust that pervaded.  As one can imagine, this was somewhat onerous.  At least some of the floors could be vacuumed instead.  With the language study on top of everything, this was going to sink us quite soon if not resolved quickly. The second was a sound system.  For some time Eva had been writing music, not on paper but developing it on the keyboard.  These pieces were prayers from her heart, and as such were not pieces that could be remembered for all time so, once the inspiration was gone, then so was the music.  It seemed that we needed some way to record it before the keyboard power was turned off.  Our existing system, well on its way out, added a considerable amount of noise of it’s own.

One morning I was touched while reading in the Psalms by the following text.  “All you who fear Yahweh, how blessed you are!  How happily you walk on his smooth straight road!  You worked hard and deserve all you’ve got coming.  Enjoy the blessing revel in the goodness.” (Psalm 128 Message) It seemed that the Lord meant this for us.  I was quite hesitant at first, this is not the type of message that I am used to receiving.  Yet the message was clear.  So, off we went to the shops and purchased a vacuum cleaner and a sound system.  In purchasing them however we fell short of what the Lord had pointed to.  Instead of revelling in his goodness, we went for the minimum that would we thought do the job.  We were thinking too much on the immediate circumstances of tightness of money and of what people might think of us in buying these things.  We need to respect those who sacrificially give to us, but only in the context of honouring both our Lord and their Lord.

When we got back home, we found out that both of our purchases were inadequate for the jobs.  The vacuum cleaner’s nozzles could not manage parts of the car, and the sound system distorted the sound when recording.  Thankfully we had brought them from a shop that gave a two week trial period and we were able to take them back and trade them in for something that was not only better but lived up to the original message from God.  Having made this commitment to go that step further in these purchases, the money also came in to buy them.  Yet the money followed the obedience.  We could not say, ‘We have the money so, we can afford it.’  It was rather a matter of accepting the love of God and his glorious generosity.  Accepting with faith, that he who sent the word to buy, would also send the money to buy it with, and would protect the consciences of those who might be sensitive to what, at least, in our eyes at least was extravagant.

This ended up not as an exercise in buying things, but very much a stretching of my concept of the goodness and generosity of God.  That he would go beyond the bare minimum with us.  He was not just interested in the functionality, but also of the pleasure that would be gained and spread out to others through the tapes of music.