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Faith Column: Rock hopper

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One of my favorite things to do in Minnesota is walking on rocks, specifically, walking, jumping, and hopping on the boulder and talus fields of basalt along the North Shore of Lake Superior. From Duluth to Two Harbors, from the safe harbor in Silver Bay to Grand Marais, it is a delight to my soul. I also understand that it may be a bit of a Walden Pond experience. If you’ve never tried it, hop on. It is easy, you just follow the stones.

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Psalm 85, a chapter in the book of Psalms, located in the Old Testament describes a simple concept, something that is no more difficult than rock hopping. The psalmist speaks of being revived. Specifically asking God to revive his people. Throughout the recent history of the Colonies and subsequently the United States, there have been revivals. The First Great Awakening ran roughly from 1720-1750, and it spawned among other things a passion for education, the result of which is places like Yale and Harvard. The Second Great Awakening from 1800 to 1835 came at a time when a people who had just won their independence faced great challenges. In 1858, the Prayer Revivals, started by business folk who got together to pray, saw hundreds of thousands come to faith on the eve of the Civil War. It also brought to light the life of a shoe salesman named Dwight Moody. In the 1970s and the 1990s, student revivals at various campuses in the United States saw students become passionate about the things of God.

It can be easy to wish these things would happen again. All of these were powerful works of God. People wanted to get right with God. All of these started with God working in the hearts and minds of individuals. Whether or not this happens on a national scale again is not for us to decide. But what we can decide is this: our need to get right with God.

It is a process that Psalm 85 describes. It is a process that involves forgiveness, restoration, love, faithfulness, righteousness and peace. It’s a process that is God’s but is initiated in the heart of the willing. A heart that cries out to God, “Revive me.” It can be the cry of every person. It should be the cry of every disciple of Jesus. I might even argue it must be the daily attitude for a child of God. Revive me!

Sometimes the key to being revived is asking God for forgiveness. Sometimes it is offering forgiveness to others. But please understand, even this as a starting point involves a willing individual and the work of God. But also understand, it is not complex; you simply have to be willing to follow the stones. Revive me.

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