He Guards the Footsteps of His Faithful Ones… ( Canticle of Anna – Part 5)

” He guards the footsteps of his faithful ones , but the wicked shall perish in the darkness.

For not by strength does one prevail.  The Lords foes shall be shattered,  The Most High in Heaven thunders.

The Lord judges the ends of the earth, may He give strength to his King and exult the horn of his anointed. ”

 

God guards the footsteps of his anointed…   Who are they ?  Who gets included in that group ?  The presupposition here might be that the faithful ones who be those who are at church every single Sunday, or Saturday.  Maybe you might think that the faithful ones are those who do more than show up each week at church.  Maybe they are those who are involved in one or two or many ministries of the church.  Maybe they are the leaders of some ministry or outreach ?

Instead lets look at the faithful like a marriage.  In a marriage you are faithful through your fidelity.   That may sound cyclical, but bare with me.  In a marriage, you may experience difficulties, challenges etc but you are still seeking that purest love, the pure good.  There are bumps in the road , potholes and in some cases crisis.  This is , however, always a seeking and desire for union with the other.  SO, in actuality the faithful can be instead thought of as the ones you do not see.  The one who is struggling with their faith. The one who is seeking their faith, the one who is still trying to figure it all out.  These too are the ones whose footsteps are guarded and loved of God.

“For not by strength does one prevail…”  This is an interesting idea.  The bible , particularly in the Psalms and Canticles, reiterate this same theme is given in many examples.

“A king is not saved by  his army not a warrior by his strength”, or ” Common folk are only a breath, great men an illusion” etc,  The whole idea of the illusion of strength being a waste or useless.   The idea, of course, speaks of the worldly strength.   The physical strength of men, the emotional strength of woman.

In human terms, our physical strength can be thought of like a classic Bell Curve.  When we are born we are weak, then through our lives we get stronger.  Eventually we are back to being weak again.  Our Emotional strength is more akin to ocean waves.  It ebbs and flows according to our needs and things that pull on us.  But these are worldly concepts, so subject to those same human frailties and failings.

Our spiritual strength, on the other hand, is different.  In opposition to our earthly strength, our spiritual strength grows in our weaknesses.  Our spiritual strength like a marriage grows by what is put into it, and by the experiences you have.  Are there challenges ? Yes !.. These are the crosses we carry, or those times when we may feel alone, or apart from God, having what we call a ” Dessert experience”.  On the other side of these experiences we can look back and see where God was there all the time and we grow.

 

“The Lord Judges the ends of the earth…”

Judgements are not hard .  We make judgements each day.  You try make judgements through a process that will make the outcome of those judgements good for you.  What you eat, what you wear, what activities you will do or maybe what not to do.  Sometimes those decisions get made for you until you are older, wiser, or what enough experience to make judgements for yourself.

The Bible tells us to “Judge not lest ye be judged”.  When pondering the idea of judging others we are reminded of an anecdote about the boss who came to work in a bad mood and growled at his co-workers.   All they knew was that he was being grouchy.  They did not know that in his private life he lost his wife, the neighbors kid threw a ball through his window, and the car broke down on the way to work.

The idea being that we should not judge with our human eyes, because we do not know what is in the others heart, or what experiences have brought them to that point, or what they may be dealing with, what crosses they carry.  Instead of judgement we need to view these things through the heart of Christ.  By turning the other cheek, by loving them anyway, by sharing the load either by deed or by prayer.

 

“Strength to his king and exult the horn of His anointed…”

Being the person who is in charge is never an easy thing. As quickly as the task is taken on there begins the first challenge that although you ended up in that position, and everyone expects for you to know everything , you really don’t and that then becomes the first test of humility and ignorance.  That ignorance is not a bad thing, it is just the lack of knowledge of a particular subject area.  Leaders of the world are not perfect people.  Arguably some less perfect than others.  They are subject to the same human failings as everyone else.  If they make a bad decision, or a bad choice if effects everyone within their sphere of influence and control.

In the political arena we seem to be more than willing to forgive and forget the missteps of the world leaders.  They can commit crimes, that they then deny, and are finally caught, then they confess, and apologize and get re-elected.  In Hollywood our actors , actresses, musicians etc, can misstep, cause terrible damages, and they go away for a bit, came back and all is forgiven.  Athletes fall and go away and can return to rise again to their pedestal.

For some reason we seem to hold a special place of hatred  and a decided lack of forgiveness , for those who are our church leaders who also fail at some point in their ministry.  Men and women who dedicate their lives and give up so much for us, and put up with so much for the love of Christ and for us.  These people we fail to forgive, fail to love as we should.

Let us pray for our leaders, the leaders of the church and of the world.  Let us pray that God will guide and bless them and lead them in right paths even when the choices are difficult.  Help us also to show them the love of Christ in their humanness and our own.

 

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