Butterfly Sparks Designs

Monday, April 27, 2009

Psalm 51.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (v. 10-12, NIV)

This verse, this “old favorite”, has become very special to me recently. I had gone through a bit of a dry spiritual season, and it was this verse that leapt into my heart’s memory and rekindled a flame that…I’m ashamed to admit… had dulled down to barely a flicker.

Somewhere along the way, while transitioning into this amazingly wonderful new chapter in my life, I had lost my focus. My gaze was fixed upon the details of my new journey instead of on the One who authored it.

I have meditated on this verse for the past week. It draws me in over and over again.

Sometimes, it evokes the well-known song derived from its words...most of you are probably singing it in your little heads right now!

I have always read this verse as a lament, a cry for forgiveness and redemption. Partly because my seminary class made me do it. I can’t argue. It is that, indeed.

But isn’t it even more than that? It is a promise. It is hope. David was at his end. His sin and worldly pursuits had left him dry. He had lost focus.

Wait a minute…so had I.

I don’t know what the theologians out there would say, but here’s what I’ve got.

David cried out for God to “renew” a steadfast spirit within him.

Renew. God had done it before, so He would do it again.

He then cried out for God to “restore” the joy of salvation.

Restore. God had done it before, so He would do it again.

Do you see it? Not only does He renew and restore us, but He transforms us. And the transformation that takes place draws us even closer to Him than we were before. Our hearts change and we forever pursue him differently…more deeply from that point forward.

I can cry out, with a repentant heart, for God to renew and restore me. He’s done it before. Too many times to count. And then … booyah … all done. The only thing left for me to do is receive it!

Now that’s hope.

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