Think about the last time you had a thought grab your spirit and say, “Waitaminit.”
Psalm 90 starts out, “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home! Before the mountains were created, before you made the earth and the world, you are God, without beginning or end. . . . For you, a thousand years are as yesterday! They are like a few hours!” (vv. 1-2, 4).
Most Psalms were written by David. This one was penned by Moses, and that helps me understand where he’s coming from. Though I can identify with David’s early life, being made king with all the honors and ceremony and the best of everything? Gold? Gems? Having your slightest whim instantly obeyed? That leaves me in the dust.
“You want what? How soon? Oh, Master, it would be MY PLEASURE!” Yeah, no. Never happened, never will.
With Moses, though, I definitely relate. I’m from the Hey-get-it-yourself-Jack-and-while-you’re-there” school. I’ve repeatedly done my best, given everything I had, left it all on the field – and been misunderstood (sometimes intentionally), used, betrayed, taken for granted and had the inevitable, “Well, couldn’t you have done more?” thrown at me.
Right. Usually from onlookers who major in doryphorism. Yeah, I know. It’s a cool word. Go ahead and Google it. You’ll want to use it this week sometime. Just not with your parents, ‘K? That would be contraindicated. Seriously.
What grabbed me in Psalm 90 is verse 17.
“Establish the work of our hands. . .”
I won’t take time to spoonfeed this; it’ll mean a lot more if you sit down with a couple of different translations and read the chapter for yourself. Listen to the last few verses from The Message:
“Make up for the bad times with some good times; we’ve seen enough evil to last a lifetime. Let your servants see what you’re best at–the ways you rule and bless your children. And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!”
Here’s the deal. You’ve heard the advice to find something to do that you love and you’ll never work another day in your life. That’s a nice thought.
Most of us aren’t even doing what our education supposedly prepped us to follow as a career. Life happens while making other plans–right? Start out working at what you find to do, what God places near, and before long you’ve been there 23 years and are, according to demographic gurus, too old to be hired anywhere else.
So–grumbling and sour we drag ourselves in to The Job we never really wanted, feeling guilty because K-Love brightly chirped, “Get in there and be Jesus to them!”
“God? Establish the work of my hands. Confirm and affirm the work that I do while Your love rests on me and flows through me.”
In other words, help me be doing what’s going to go doing good for others long after I’m outta here.
“Okay–HOW? Can you help me understand how to pull that off where I work?”
Nope. All I can tell you is how I use this Psalm’s counsel. Ready?
Separate “wheat” from “chaff” in your personal life. Things that work for you need to be nurtured. Things that only irritate and hold you back need to be left alone – no matter how wonderful they may seem to others. You are responsible for YOU and nobody else.
What works for them doesn’t matter. They’ll pressure you, make fun of you, maybe even invoke God’s sanction.
You want God to establish the work of your hands, even if it’s work you can barely tolerate? To confirm and affirm the work you do, even – especially – if you can’t stand doing it?
Be a leader. . .
Pursue what works with and for YOU.
Run away from what doesn’t.
© D. Dean Boone, September 2015