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Sermon – 6/8/03
The Transplant - Psalm 9:9-10

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The Transplant

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble; and those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:9-10)

My wife works in Financial Aid for a college and we recently went to the Agricultural Department of her school for a plant sale.  We loaded up a wheelbarrow and another wheeled device with flowers and bushes we liked, paid for them and headed for home.

When all was planted, something looked – wrong!  The balance of the long garden at the front of our house was just not right.  So we discussed it, and then carefully dug up a rose tree that had been planted about a year ago, keeping the roots as intact as possible.  We moved the rose tree to the other end of the garden, planted a small rose bush in its place and everything looked – right!

But the rose tree was not happy with our decision.  The leaves sagged, it lost resistance to whatever was making holes in its leaves, and the large, fragrant yellow-and-red flowers stopped blooming.  It has recovered now, though at one point I laid hands on it and prayed, because it looked like it was not going to make it.  That rose tree was an anniversary present to my wife a year ago and I want it to live!

To be transplanted is not an easy process - I wonder: do you feel like you're being “transplanted” right now?

My mother does.  A few weeks ago, she fell and broke her foot in two places.  It's obvious she can't simply go home from the hospital and do things like before, but she's wonderfully independent and wants to remain that way!  A great place has been found for her, and it's obvious the Lord is arranging this, but it's going to be difficult.  With prayer, with God's help, she'll get through this and “blossom” in the new place even more than in the old.  Just like the rose tree that is producing flowers again, she will ultimately bloom where she is planted.

A lot of our feelings of security are based on circumstances.  If we're “planted” in the “right” part of the “garden” of this life, we can “bloom” - but uproot us even for a moment, and we tend to wilt.  Take us out of our comfortable jobs, marriages, homes; remove good health and what have you got? --- For the most part, nervous, frightened, even angry individuals, who withdraw and no longer contribute to the needs of others.

You, of course, know that a compass will point to magnetic north even in a forest or desert when it's not clear where you are!  If you follow that compass, you’ll be headed in the right direction even when things around you don’t look familiar.  Our Compass, our Security, is the Lord.  With Him, we’re going to make it.

We receive emails from people who have lost, from their perspective - everything!  Those who have all kinds of stability can suddenly be shaken to the core by a privation in some of those areas.  Suddenly, nothing in life feels right to the person who is grieving great loss.

The “superscription” written above Psalm 9, the Scripture for today, is interesting.  It identifies this as "a Psalm of David," and the New King James Version (NKJV) additionally says it is written to “Muthlabben,” which is literally "To the tune of 'Death of the Son.'"  When something touches our children (and every part of David’s life was touched), nothing seems like it can ever be right again.

David of Israel was wonderfully expressive in sorrow.  People chased him, took from him, made war against him, ridiculed him, and generally gave him a bad time.  On the other hand, the Lord made him king and David was also revered, loved, served and admired.  Some days were good for him and others were awful.  His situation tended to change dramatically from moment-to-moment on any given day.

Our Scripture is, “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble; and those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:9-10).  David knew what oppression was all about.  He had been a refugee (on the run) and had been in trouble more times than he could count.  He had no guarantees that life would be any better tomorrow than it was yesterday, except for the Lord.  He trusted in the Lord.

David was often “transplanted” from comfortable circumstances.  He became frightened frequently and was in danger many times.  He knew what it was like to lose - everything!  Don't get me wrong: David was a sinner like the rest of us and there were times he seemed to deserve what he got!  But, he was also open about it when he made mistakes, admitting them and changing his ways when he recognized his sin.

David had a Compass, and His Compass (the Holy Spirit) pointed him continually to the Lord God, Maker of heaven and of earth!  In a forest or desert of confusion, he went to the Lord!  When he seemed to be planted in the wrong part of the garden of this life, he looked to the Lord!  When all seemed lost, he went to his God.

Where do you go when you don't like what is happening to you?  When marriages seem to be in trouble, many will go to another man or woman.  In financial difficulties, some will cheat or steal.  If reputation is at stake, people tend to accuse others.  In sickness, most turn faces to the wall and become troubled.  Many simply run away, in one manner or another.  But if you trust in the Lord, you will (like David) look to God – and find Him.

You WILL be transplanted.  Your Gardener, however, is the Leading Expert in His field, and you’ll ultimately like what He does.  My mother will be pleased and so will you.  The rose tree is going to make it.  Even when things look bleak, your Compass will show you the way.  Just like in David’s life, the Lord will be your refuge, and you’ll know His Name, which is Jesus Christ – and you will put your trust in Him.  When all seems lost, you will find you have EVERYTHING you need – in Him.

Father, we trust in You.  Thank You for giving us the Son, that we may be forgiven, and for Your Spirit, in Whom we know the way home.  Thank You, Lord.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.


Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

www.FridayStudy.org
www.FirstChurchontheNet.org
www.BlessedHands.org
E-mail: Ron@FridayStudy.org
Tel: (562) 688-5559
PO Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)

 

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