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The “With Me” Sandwich

August 4th, 2008

Focus Text: Psalm 46: 7- 11 (NKJV)

7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
         The God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah  
 8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
         Who has made desolations in the earth.
 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
         He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; 
         He burns the chariot in the fire. 
 10 Be still, and know that I am God;
         I will be exalted among the nations, 
         I will be exalted in the earth! 
 11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
         The God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah  


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

I couldn’t believe how considerate she was!  You don’t know . . . scratch that . . . you can’t know what kind of night she had.  

Sidebar.  Sadie has been a perfect angel . . . well, mostly a perfect angel.  Yesterday, she decided that she would snooze the day away, despite the most valiant of efforts from her Pops to keep her awake at times. It was just one of those days: a day that she decided– in all the independent spirit and gusto that a two-week old little girl can muster– that she was not going to stay on the right schedule under any circumstances.  Add an adorable, heart-melting headband to those heavy little blue eyes and you’ve got a recipe for . . . well, whatever she wants.

Back to the considerate part of the story.  Today, we were slated to leave for the National Fine Arts Festival in Charlotte, North Carolina.  We were supposed to depart at about 12:30 p.m. and unfortunately, the only CDL driver I could secure for this particular nine-hour road trip in a hot bus filled with thirty-five lovely teenagers was– you guessed it– myself.  Therefore, my incredibly considerate (not to mention incredibly beautiful) wife, Laura, insisted that I sleep the whole night and not try to help with the middle of the night feedings.

Truth be told, I did wake up several times anyway– once I even walked into Sadie’s room to check on her while Laura was sleeping– but don’t tell Laura.

I did sleep more than usual, I suppose.  And as I type this late at night in the hotel in Charlotte, I’m thankful that Laura put my sleep ahead of her own (something which, at the moment, she needs more of than me.)  But that wasn’t the best part.

I met the day as I meet every Sunday: early– so early that I was useless to help Laura with Munchkin, who had been up much of the night still reeling from the previous day’s schedule mutiny.  Yet, when Laura arrived at church, she had somehow remembered amidst all the hullabaloo of the morning’s insanity that I had not made my sack lunch that we were supposed to take on the bus ride.  Low and behold, my enchanted spouse showed up at the church with a lunch prepared and packed just for me. Now that’s some wife!

The best part had to be the sandwich.  It wasn’t some sissy sandwich with just a few slices of meat in the middle; no, it was stacked high and deep with succulent turkey and mouthwatering ham– with cheese accenting the ensemble.  It was delicious!

What makes a sandwich good?  Most red-blooded Americans would easily say “the meat.”  In fact, it’s what’s in between the bread that gives the sandwich its proper description.  Ham sandwiches have ham. Turkey has turkey.  Peanut butter and mustard sandwiches have . . . well, something God never intended. You get the point.

Thus we stumble upon some very interesting combinations of flavors in Psalm 46: 7-11.  Verse 7 reiterates the idea that we’ve been exploring for several threads now: God is with us.  Again, He’s close and not far away.

But then, like the abrupt change one feels when the teeth pass through the outer layers of bread and encounter the hearty core of the sandwich’s epicenter, the taste of this verse changes.  “Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth.  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.”

Ay caramba!  God makes desolations in the earth?!  Is that really someone that I want near to me?  But then the Psalmist describes the object of God’s destruction: the warring plans of man.  He makes them cease and destroys their weapons with the might of His power.  God breathes, it all stops.  End of story.

So, just like that ever-so-considerate sandwich that I enjoyed today on the bus, this passage has meat as well.  Sure God is with us, but understand that at the epicenter of the universe, His will eclipses all.  End of story.  Add verse 11 as the other piece of bread (God is with us again,) and you complete the “with me” sandwich.  

There’s something mysterious about the spiritual balance of God’s power and grace.  We are told to tremble, yet to approach Him with boldness.  To fall down before Him and to lift our eyes towards Him. To call out His name and to “be still” and just know that He is God.  Aren’t these conflicting ideologies about God?  No, they are what makes Him so delectable.  He is with me, yet the “meat” of His power could wipe the universe clean with one felled swoop.  His sneeze would displace the ocean, yet the space around me in this room is filled with Him.  

Apparently, Laura’s not the only one who’s considerate enough to make me a sandwich with good meat in the middle.  May God’s power in your life be completely encrusted with the realization that He is near.  

Now that’s good eating!



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