Friday, February 13, 2009

Hasten or not hasten??? (Psalm 70) 130209

If you are observant enough, you will discover that this psalm is almost a replicate of Ps 40:13-17. Commentator, VanGemeren says, “This psalm is virtually identical with the prayer in 40:13-17. The main differences lie in the absence of the divine name, a characteristic of the Elohistic Psalter, and in the addition "hasten" at the very beginning of the psalm.” And true enough, as I meditate on this psalm, the word ‘hasten’ seems to jump out at me.

I begin to reflect my life; my family and my ministry. I have been a father for 14 months and I am enjoying it thoroughly. Sometimes I have a thought: how nice will it be if Alethea can be in her teens now, or how beautiful will it be for me to walk Alethea down the aisle of the church to be married. But at the same time, I also miss those days whereby Altehea was so small and frail and so dependent on me to feed her, to change her, to bathe her and to carry her around. At this point, she is beginning to assert her needs, and she is so mobile walking and running about. I miss those days whereby she will quietly sleep in my arms. But why do I yearn for her to grow up? I think a lesson for fatherhood is for me to learn to be patience.

I am back into full-time ministry as a pastor for more than a months, I have been writing devotional journals, preaching in the Chinese ministry, organizing Adult Bible Fellowships (ABFs) for young working adults and young families, and also leading the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades ministry. I am also currently leading 2 BAGs, and a Zone Pastor who doesn’t do anything. I am, of course, responsible for the Christian Education of the church as my primary calling and ministry. I have so much at hands, only less than 2 months into full-time ministry. Am I doing too much? I miss those days whereby I can slowly and without haste, sit before the feet of God and meditate upon His words for hours; and now I only have an hour to do so.

The psalmist begs God to hasten to deliver and help him (v1). He wants his enemies to be ashamed, humiliated, turned back, and dishonored (v2-3). Well, he is only being honest about his feeling and thoughts. I am like him too, I also want God to hasten His work, and I am obviously in a haste to do God’s work. But this psalm does not indicate how God acts upon the psalmist request.

Hastening is what we want, but may not be what God wants. I want God to hasten His reply for my prayers. But there is no quick fix in God’s economy. God mould me through time, He has all the time He wants in the universe. God is not into fast-food, but rather He desires me to chew His words and savor Him, again and again.

But there is one thing God will hasten to us; that is when we are in our suffering. He will be hastened to standby us. He will be hastened to listen to our cries. He will be hastened to comfort us when we finally come still before Him. The psalmist is not wrong to ask God to hasten His deliverance and help, because God is the Deliver and the Helper (v5).

Are you in a haste to grow up, or to grow your career? Are you in a haste to read more, or to read into your future? Take time, unhurried time, to grow in intimacy with Christ. Take joy, unpretentious joy, to read in the life of others as Christ reads into your life.

I know life is in haste. I live in a real world like you, I love to have things fast and quick; and I know that life is harsh too. But be sure that God is quick to standby you and comfort you. Maybe you are going through some challenges at work, God is right beside you right now. Maybe you are struggling with some pains or physical health issues, God is right there to strengthen and to comfort you.

Hasten or not hasten, God knows.


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