Limited This, Unlimited That

“I cry aloud to God,
    aloud to God, and he will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
    in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
    my soul refuses to be comforted.
When I remember God, I moan;
    when I meditate, my spirit faints.

You hold my eyelids open;
    I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old,
    the years long ago.
I said, ‘Let me remember my song in the night;
    let me meditate in my heart.’
    Then my spirit made a diligent search:
‘Will the Lord spurn forever,
    and never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
    Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
    Has he in anger shut up his compassion?’

Then I said, ‘I will appeal to this,
    to the years of the right hand of the Most High.’

I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work,
    and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy.
    What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
    you have made known your might among the peoples.
You with your arm redeemed your people,
    the children of Jacob and Joseph.”
Psalm 77:1-15

The sky is so heavy this morning it is hard to see eternity. It all looks close, thick, a barrier between the heavens and me. My vision is limited, and so seems my ability to connect with the One who is seated above heaven and earth. The crow flying overhead, and cawing, is in my room. I’m pressed into the here and now, nearly suffocating on temporal concerns and sorrows. Yet, beyond the clouds, my limitless Lord reigns, and making them visible, light still shines, and leaves its smudge of hope. Redemption stands and rings its melody of grace, and wonder.

In the deepest of trouble, with faint spirit and longing so desperate he felt abandoned, the psalmist made search of his Lord. Turning his eyes from forlorn despair to the holy Most High, he found his balm. There is no circumstance so grim, no situation so disconcerting, that Jesus has not touched it, nor cannot redeem it.

When darkness closes in, and cruelty, sorrows, and deception storm our souls, God embraces us into His limitless love. Lingering illness, financial destitution, relationships in ruin- situations with dimmest hope meet God’s infinite goodness and glorious grace in His arms of mercy. He, the wonder-worker, gives songs in the night. (Job 35:10; Psalm 42:8)

What personal limits can I bring to God’s unlimited? What impossible to His possible? What uncertainty to His “yes and amen,” regret to His redemption, shame to His forgiveness, weakness to His strength, despair to His hope? Where can I trust Him to meet my dirge with His melody, my burdens with His yoke, my lack with His supply? Will I do so now? (2 Corinthians 1:20; Hebrews 4:16)

“Come, you disconsolate, where’er you languish; 
come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel. 
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish; 
earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot heal.”
~Thomas Moore (1816)

Infinite Lord, in every temporal distress, cause me to appeal to Your wide mercy, remember Your infinite goodness, ponder Your limitless grace, and exalt Your holy, matchless name.

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