I wanted to learn how to ski. My boyfriend (Forty years later he is still my husband) was good at the sport, he made it look easy, he made it sound like the most amazing sport in the world. Besides that, the clothes were cute. Wearing a ski jacket with a lift-pass on the zipper pull put you into the kewl category. Honestly, it was the most painful, difficult, humbling thing that I’ve ever learned to do.
Ray did a good job teaching me how to stay upright on the kiddy slope, even when he really wanted was to challenge himself on the advanced runs. Cute and needy will only take you just so far on a ski date. Eventually the moguls would seduce him more then I could. He would assure me that he would just be gone a minute or 20, then he would be back to help me. This usually happened just after I would have a temper tantrum because skiing my very best, not falling down for 80 yards, and feeling accomplished would suddenly be squashed with the realization that Ray had been skiing backwards the whole way so he could keep an eye on me while calling out encouragement.
BACKWARDS! He could ski better going backwards then I could going forwards! All his praise would suddenly sound like teasing because of my pride. Sports usually came easy to me, but the first couple of years of skiing did not. Off he would go to hit the challenging slopes (as if the well groomed kiddy slope was not challenging at all). Later I would discover that he had gone somewhere where I could not see him. He would watch me, he would see me struggle and watch me fall, not rushing to my rescue, but instead letting me struggle to get back up on those randy skis. I got stronger, I got better, I even started looking forward to his instruction. He was never far away, always there if I REALLY needed help, but he knew I would get strong only if I had to work through the difficult times without constant rescue, becoming more dependent on skill then my ability to flirt or get grumpy.
Psalm 10:1 Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?
I really have my husband to thank for my understanding of this week’s psalm. Like my beloved husband teaching this stubborn Norwegian to ski, the Almighty is never gone, just not in my view. He shows me what to do, how to live, then seems to leave me on my own to learn the skills he has given me to live. Ever close if I am really in trouble, but not there to whine at. He knows what I need to be strong and skillful on The Way.
At first glance, Psalm 10 seems to be a Psalm of defeat. Most of it seems to be about the wicked and their success. To me Psalm 10 is a poem for the chayil, the valiant warriors of the Almighty. We learned in our study of Joshua that the Almighty calls us to be strong, meaning to cling to him and His Way, even when our eyes see no evidence of him (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9 and 18) The wicked are like wolves. They crouch and drool when one of us is weak, coming in to hurt, to destroy us when we are down. We must be chayil because we are warriors of the Almighty. We are to defend the helpless and the weak. The Almighty is there for us to call upon, but he has shown us how to live, he gives us opportunity to live righteously and to defend our beloved sisters and brothers in the faith. We are not alone, but like the chord (the hope) of three strands, ourselves, our sisters and brothers in the Almighty, and the Spirit of Y’shua-Jesus (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) we are not quickly broken. We are not alone. Y’shua did the most powerful thing possible when we could not do it for ourselves. He gave his blood to buy us out of slavery. The Almighty restored his life. Life in Y’shua and Y’shua in us is true strength. Giving up EVERYTHING because we trust the Almighty as Abraham did when he lifted the knife to Isaac’s throat (Genesis 22) He calls us to do what he has done, to follow him. Love your sisters when they are weak, when they are grumpy and say mean things. Love doesn’t take the abuse, but it does love the one who is thrashing about trying to be strong in this world instead of clinging to the Almighty. Cling for them. The Almighty is near.
Romans 15:1 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. nasu
No one wants to hug a porcupine, it hurts! But I am here to tell you, when I have been the most prickly, the Almighty has sent people to love me, people who get their strength from the Almighty and shared it with me. He has also called me to do the same for others. I have nothing within myself to love the unlovable except for the Messiah who loved me when I was not worth anything. He loved me and strengthened me to stand up and walk The Way.
1 Corinthians 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
The wicked, the wolves of this world are always watching for weakness. They can capture and rip up the weak. We are only weak when we live as if the Almighty does not care about us. We are weak when we are angry at our sisters, our brothers, who maybe disrespect us or ignore us. Feeling that way should be your clue, your red flag to pray, to pour out your heart to the Almighty, to exchanged your ashes for beauty! To refocus on the hope we have in Salvation.
Hebrews 6:18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.
Be chayil! Warriors who have the strength of the Almighty and have each others back!
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
Mrs. Hagerty, November 10, 2015