Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nuggets of wisdom

It had been my intention to compose multiple posts about what I learned while reading, "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction," by Eugene Peterson.  However, life got in the way and I neglected to do so.  

So, here are some of the nuggets of wisdom that I have gained, specifically the ones that spoke to me about our journey with Noah...

On PROVIDENCE (Ps 121):
"The promise of the psalm...is not that we shall never stub our toes but that no injury, no illness, no accident, no distress will have evil power over us, that is, will be able to separate us from God's purposes in us."  p 42

On HELP (Ps 124)
"The psalmist is not a person talking about the good life, how God has kept him out of all difficulty.  This person has gone through the worst--the dragon's mouth, the flood's torrent--and finds himself intact.  He was not abandoned but helped.  The final strength is not in the dragon or in the flood but in the God who 'didn't go off and leave us.'"  p 74

"Faith develops out of the most difficult aspects of our existence, not the easiest."
"We speak our words of praise in a world that is hellish; we sing our songs of victory in a world where things get messy..."  p 79

On PERSEVERANCE (Ps 129)
"That '[God] sticks with us' is the reason Christians can look back over a life crisscrossed with cruelties, unannounced tragedies, unexpected setbacks, disappointments, depressions--look back across all that and see it as a road of blessing, and make a song out of what we see... Perseverance is not a the result of our determination, it is a result of God's faithfulness."  p 133

On HOPE (Ps 130)
"A man or woman of faith who fails to acknowledge and deal with suffering becomes, at last, either a cynic or a melancholic or a suicide."  p 137

"The gospel offers a different view of suffering: in suffering we enter the depths; we are at the heart of things; we are near to where Christ was on the cross." p 138

"We need hope.  We need to know that we are in relation to God.  We need to know that suffering is part of what it means to be human and not something alien.  We need to know where we are and where God is."  p 145

"The psalm does not exhort us to put up with suffering; it does not explain it or explain it away.  It is, rather, a powerful demonstration that our place in the depths is not out of bounds from God."  p 145

2 comments:

Scott and Dena said...

Thanks for the inspiration--I think I need to read this book!

Jodie Allen said...

deb... i'm fervently praying for noah today...

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