Sunday, July 3, 2016

Eternal Separation from the Lord

Today's Reading:
  • Psalm 88
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Today's reading is a dark one, full of despair and hopelessness.  It is a psalm of the descendants of Korah, and in it the author cries out to the Lord to once again turns His face towards him. The author says he is forgotten and cut off from the Lord's care (88:5). He says that he has been engulfed by wave after wave of anger (88:7). He says that his eyes are blinded by tears (88:9) and that darkness is his closest friend (88:18).

This psalm is so upsetting that I almost didn't want to write about it. It seeps despair with no happy ending in sight. Many psalms cry out to the Lord for justice, but also talk of how great the Lord is and the trust the author has in the Lord to rescue them from any situation. This psalm, however, is simply a dark place. A place where the Lord has turned His face and offers no mercy or relief.

I pray that I never see such a time in my life. To feel completely and utterly cut off from the Lord - my rock, my salvation, my protection, my provider - would be the most terrible thing imaginable. Then I wonder, is this what Hell will be like? To have your soul be irreparably separated from its creator? Aside from physical torture, which is horrible enough, what does a soul feel like that has been completely cut off from the Lord? It has to be the most horrible feeling imaginable. Horrible, and eternal.

I often focus on how great it will be to be with the Lord for all eternity. My mind doesn't usually wander to what it will be like for those who failed to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. LORD and Savior. Not just Savior - LORD and Savior. A lord is someone who is obeyed, and those who do not obey a lord suffer the severe consequences. It is oh so important that we remember the LORD part of salvation. Too often I think we focus on the pure love and sacrifice, and forget that we are declaring Jesus as the Lord over our lives. We must obey, we must become a NEW person in Christ. A new person who is changed by obeying the Lord and fulfilling his Christian call to life.

I am talking to myself here as much as I'm talking to anyone else. I did not want to do this today. I've already spent half my day with church. The baby is napping, I have many things to do. As I walked past my study, I felt the call. I felt the Lord telling me to obey, to get in there and do this work. I tried to walk on by but last minute I turned around and obeyed. I sat down, I didn't want to open the bible, I didn't want to read more, I didn't feel like writing. But I took a deep breath, said a prayer for the Lord to put down my flesh, and obeyed. It's been a very short reading, and it didn't take me that long to write this. I am so very very thankful I obeyed and my spirit has been uplifted because of it. I hope I don't ever find out what it is to be eternally separated from the Lord, for that would be a dark place indeed.