The Bare Soul - February 17, 2008
Backed Into A Corner?

Psalm 31:7-8 - I will rejoice and be glad in Your loving-kindness, Because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul, And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a large place.

It is good to have options, especially as a runner and knowing where to place your foot with each stride. Even more so is this fundamental with barefoot running. Tight running along narrow trails can be difficult and somewhat limiting to the next foot strike. However, it feels liberating when the path is wide, or even better yet when there is not even necessarily a path but just a broad expanse to run. On occasion, I will run through pasture land barefoot when the grass is just coming up in the springtime. The visibility is great and there is no need to feel constricted on where to run.

As I stated, it is good to have options. No one likes to feel that they are backed into a corner with no where to turn. When David wrote the aforementioned psalm, he was obviously thinking from a battle strategy point of view. How much better to be able to see all his options as the enemy closed in on him while standing his ground in the "large place"? Many an army commander can testify to the terror of being pinned down in a forested scenario where the enemy is dug in and picking off his soldiers one by one. There is really only two options in a situation such as this: Either wait and hope help comes or try to flank your enemy and draw them into open combat. David's writings imply that he had been in similar situations. He stated that God did not allow him to be hemmed in, but He set his feet in a large place. With more options to move about freely, David could and did rout his enemy as the Lord strengthened him.

Is this not true for our own lives? How often do we feel hemmed in by the struggles and strives of daily living? It it's not the bills then one of the kids is sick or there are lay-off fears at work or any number of things that would seek to back us into that proverbial corner. The Lord Jesus Christ stated "Take no thought for what you will eat or drink or for what you will wear, but seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be given to you". What a glorious promise! Without a doubt, there are going to be times when all of us feel out-flanked by the enemy of our souls and we will feel like there is no way out. As David believed, we must know that God will never abandon us if we keep trusting. Even when our faith is frail and non-existent He stated through Paul in the first book of Timothy that "If we are faithless, He remains faithful". The Lord Jesus knows we are but dust and that we will return to dust. Therefore, He is patient with our failings and our unbelief. The most important thing is to keep growing in faith and listening to His continual testimonies to our souls, how He continues to deliver us.

David wrote a vast majority in retrospect. Retrospect, or "our history" as I like to call it is the most valuable thing we have to build faith. In Psalm 103:1 David writes "Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name, And forget none of His benefits toward you". The word "remember" is used 167 times in the bible (New International Version). Sounds to me like the Lord wants us to be mindful of many things that are relevant to how we live and believe. These things, if taken to heart will not allow us to be hemmed in by the enemy, our unbelieving thoughts, or by the nay-sayers around us.

My prayer for all of us is a simple one: Remember the Lord. In all our ways acknowledge Him and He will make our paths straight. Better yet, He will set us in a large place where we will have room for mobility away from the negative, debilitating thinking of the World and Satan that would seek to paralyze us with fear. Move forth in faith! He has large, spacious places for us all to dwell in!

Your barefoot servant,

Barefoot Rick

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