They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
~Psalm 69:21, NRSV
We pray not to inform God or to instruct Him but to become intimate with Him.
Psalm 69 is a Psalm of David and the most quoted Psalm in the N.T. This Psalms is quoted 17 times in the N.T. by Jesus, John, Luke and Paul. Verse 20 always speaks to me…Insults have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. Both verses 20-21 are fulfilled or lived out by Jesus on the cross. Jesus was thirsty and they gave Him vinegar to drink. Whereas He did not die alone, the women and John were there at the foot of the cross, He died grossly misunderstood by all except His Father. These verses stirred my soul yesterday morning and put me to thinking. I thought about the things that I have learned over the years:
- You can’t hide pride from God: you can’t fake humility with HIM.
- We definitely reap what we sow: no doubt about it.
- No one cares like Jesus. No one is capable of caring like Jesus.
- The key to success in the Christian life is to wait on God.
- The key to personal happiness is to wait on God patiently.
- There is a thin line between ‘needs’ and ‘wants.’
I want to elaborate on number six. Need is something required, essential, necessary or very important. Want is a desire or a wish primarily but it can be a deficiency. There are times when we want something that we don’t need but again there are times when we want something we very much need. I am going to show you a chart. I have studied it briefly but I’m not ready to say that I fully understand or concur with it. But if will give you some idea of what we are talking about.
The physiological needs on the bottom are not debatable: we have to have oxygen, water, food, shelter, clothing and rest. There is another chart that has Transcendence on the top, then self-actualization, self-esteem, love and belonging, safety and security and the physiological needs at the bottom. Transcendent needs are looking beyond yourself; to something or someone outside yourself. This is where the narcissistic person stumbles, they can’t look beyond themselves.
On the cross, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” [John 19:28] Two things are unclear: In Matthew’s account, Jesus after tasting did not drink or swallow the vinegar. The sour wine that the Roman soldiers drank was a vinegar mixed with water. As a teenager, I came in from the field hot and thirsty looking for some thing refreshing to drink. I saw a gallon of tea on the counter, I fixed a glass of ice and poured the tea, only it was not tea. It was vinegar that mother used to can. I took one swallow and it took my breath. I can drink pickle juice like a soft drink but to this day, I cannot drink pure vinegar. In my opinion, the Romans were cruel to give Jesus vinegar to drink instead of water. The other bit of conjecture was raised by one of my seminary professors: he said Jesus was thirsting for love and understanding. I’m going to assume He was thirsting for water and my point is this: Jesus died thirsty. He died with unmet needs.
You nor anyone else is going to find complete satisfaction in this life. Every need is not going to be met. We all have to live with broken dreams. It’s like the mother who prayed for her daughter to marry a missionary; she married a drunk instead. She became so disillusioned that she told her pastor she would never asks God for anything else. I feel her pain but it is a fact of life, we don’t get everything we want, even when what we want is good. What we have to understand is this: for believers, God has eternity to fulfill our needs and our deepest desires. Some people just want to be loved. They want to be the most important person in the world to someone. We want to be heard and understood. We want to be loved unconditionally. We what to be real in a relationship. Deep down, we want to be transparent but we are inhibited by fear. We humans are highly insecure; so much so that we go through life faking, acting, pretending to be something we are not. I was verbally assaulted in my middle twenties. A man was upset with me because I played on the church softball team. He attacked me in the presence of a deacon who could think on his feet and respond under pressure. After giving me a piece of his mind, he turned to this deacon and said, “He doesn’t act like a preacher.” The deacon, without hesitation said, “Yeah, that what I like about him, he doesn’t act at all.” Just between you and I, the deacon was not altogether correct, I am not fully transparent but the point he made was valid. We do too much acting and this hinders all our relationships.
I being too verbose, so let me cut to the chase: wait on God to meet your needs and remember, He has an eternity to do it. If we jump ahead of Him, we will suffer the same consequences as Eve. Knowledge is not evil unless your intent is to know more than God. Knowledge pursued a part from God produces pride. God would have eventually given Eve knowledge but she refused to wait. Some degree of happiness is achieved once we learn to wait patiently.
Insecurity and Relationships
The Blog is long but for those who have the time, I have one more word about our insecurity and how it effects our relationships. Insecure people are afraid; they are afraid to be known. This is why child abuse and sexual abuse are so hurtful. When children get abused, they often blame themselves and very few have a way to deal with what is going on in their life. Yes, if we could get a professional counselor to every abused child within 24 hours of the abuse it would help but these kids are usually caught in a trap and most of the time, they are being hurt by someone who is suppose to love them; many times it is someone they trust. All of this trauma produces shame and guilt even though the child is innocent. We begin to cover it up or block it out. We pretend that it never happened. To protect ourselves from further injury, we become dishonest. There is no one on the planet who does not need professional counseling. If you will agree to pay for it, I will spend a hour a week with Dr. Little. As Bro. Elmer use to say, “We all have a screw lose somewhere.” These folks who pretend to have it all together are faking, they are being intellectually dishonest. The deeper our insecurity, the more dishonest we become. Deeply insecure people become pathological liars: they get to a point where they are incapable of telling the truth. One by one, they destroy every relationship. It is impossible to build relationships on lies. Sooner are later, the house of cards [lies] will collapse.
- Can you believe it: we are slab dab in the middle of BLOCK PARTY week and tonight, we get to see one of the miracles of the BP, the GRACE BARN. It is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and I have seen it again and again.
- Great turn out last night. Thanks one and all.
- I got so sleepy that I could not proof the blog so good luck.