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Psalm 30 is a song of praise, a song of dedication. God gives us life, experiences, and He rescues us from death! And why does He do this?
"All you saints! Sing your hearts out to GOD! Thank him to his face! He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter." Psalm 30:4-5 The Message
I received a call from a cross-cultural worker about his son attending ReBoot, the transition retreat we run for teens transitioning back to Canada from other countries. "Before I register, I need you to know about his dependency on drugs and other habits. I'll understand if you don't want to take him."
I couldn't talk for awhile. Finally, I choked out the words. "That's why we're doing this! That's who this retreat is for. But I don't make the decision alone. I need to speak to our ReBoot Director." She responded the same way. Tears, choking voice; "Isn't this exactly why we're doing what we're doing, Paul?"
He joined us at ReBoot. Hunched over, hoodie over his head, making no eye contact, showing all the signs of one who didn't want to be there. Numerous MKs reached out to him. He soon engaged in soccer.
The "dam" broke after staff vulnerably shared testimonies including areas of failure in our own spiritual walks. He came to me in tears and said, "I've never experienced such honesty and transparency!"
I had the privilege of meeting with him several times the following winter. Every meeting I witnessed change … a softening in his face, more smiles, less anxiety … one day I listened while he shared Christ with a homeless man, then hugged him.
So often we beg and plead for God to rescue us. We're in muck up to our eyes, often our own doing. We just went to get out of this place!
"GOD, my God, I yelled for help and you put me together. GOD, you pulled me out of the grave, gave me another chance at life when I was down-and-out. I give you all the credit, GOD — you got me out of that mess, you didn't let my foes gloat."
God rescues us for different reasons than we might think. We're in the middle of an emergency and we can't extricate ourselves. Why would He rescue us?
He rescues us so that
"When things were going great I crowed, "I've got it made. I'm GOD's favorite. He made me king of the mountain." Then you looked the other way and I fell to pieces."
We often mistake our position and success for our glory. What a huge error. It's never for our glory. It's never for our reputation. It's always about God and His reputation, His name!
And then, to get ourselves out of the ditch, we bargain with God. We start to understand what we're to be all about. Lord, how can I praise you if I'm dead? I'm no good to you dead!
"I called out to you, GOD; I laid my case before you: "Can you sell me for a profit when I'm dead? auction me off at a cemetery yard sale? When I'm 'dust to dust' my songs and stories of you won't sell. So listen! and be kind! Help me out of this!""
God smiles and lovingly murmurs, "Now you're starting to understand! Now you're getting it!"
God's power and authority is so far greater than we can conceive of. God always comes through, always delivers those whom He loves.
"You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I'm about to burst with song; I can't keep quiet about you. GOD, my God, I can't thank you enough."
And through this He teaches us so many lessons:
God the Almighty is worth praising and celebrating and worshiping. That's why we were created! To worship and adore Him, to fall headlong in love with Him, and to experience relationship like we've never experienced before.
The teen from ReBoot? He and his fiancée were in our home recently, awaiting God's clarification on next steps in serving Him. God continues to rescue us, throughout our lives. How can we not praise Him, love Him, and worship Him?
Paul is the National Team Leader for the MORE Network (Missionary Opportunities for Resourcing & Equipping) and the CMKN (Canadian Missionary Kid Network), filling a role of Ministry Ambassador and Champion across Canada, working with Church & Mission leaders involved with caring for cross-cultural workers (singles & couples) and MKs. Paul is an MK and has experience in Member Care, Pastoring, Banking and Business Leadership. Paul & Carol have been married for 43 years and live in Abbotsford.