Text: Psalm 73:1-4.
“Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles, their bodies are healthy and strong.
Text: Psalm 73:21-25.
When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant, I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you?
Asaph is completely certain of God’s character—he must be good to his chosen people. His plans, their future, depend on it. He must also be good to the pure in heart. If he were not, it would deny his character in a different way. God would not be who he is.
But what happens when we are not “pure in heart”? There are very likely to be times in our lives when those who see us count us, like Asaph, among God’s people, but deep in ourselves, we are not so sure. “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.”
I vividly remember a blustery day during junior high. Cold rain flowed down the classroom windows in sheets. One of the other students said to me, “Heidi, look out the window.” My classmates had noticed the rain was freezing. I spared it less attention, and replied, “Oh, it’s just raining. I’m glad, because it’s sleet that gives me trouble.”
For anyone with a handicap, the rest is predictable. When school dismissed, I was among the last students to leave the building and board the bus. I took two or three steps away from the building, and fell flat. As I struggled to regain my feet, the bus windows filled with laughing faces.
That I remember this incident at all is proof of another passage. “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.” Envy and bitterness are weedy growths that keep us from developing and displaying the fruits of the Spirit. They make us less useful to God.
What happens then? Does God look for someone else to implement his plans? No, he shows us mercy. “Yet I am always with you, you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your council, and afterward, you will take me into glory.”
In the years since the freezing rain incident, I have matured enough to realize that probably not all the laughter was mocking. Some of my schoolmates may have been embarrassed for me, and they were not yet mature enough to dare to come back out and help me. I would like to believe that if any of them found me on my knees in a parking lot today, they would be quick to help.
Living in this imperfect world, we tire of our circumstances and yearn for heaven. What will the best part of heaven be? We look forward to remade perfect spiritual bodies, and we know there will be no more tears, but the best part of heaven will be God’s constant ,presence. There will be no circumstances to distract us from him. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And being with you, I desire nothing on earth.”
Heidi Dru Kortman DTM
God's gifts and call are irrevocable.
Heidi Dru Kortman, a CWG Apprentice graduate, ACFW member since 2004, and Word Weaver member has published devotionals in various newsletters, and a collected volume of devotionals. Her poetry, flash fiction, and short stories have appeared in small magazines, and a website. She is applying herself to the task of writing smoothly polished fiction.