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Summary: What do we do fret? We are told not to so lets do something differant, but what?

Don’t fret Ruggedly Handsome Powerful beats Ugly Nasty every time!

Psalm 37:1-11

We all know the story; the bad guys, lead by Ugly Nasty have robbed the bank, the savings of the people of Rattlesnake Gulch have been taken to the abandoned mine. But before Ugly and his henchmen left they abducted the school teacher, (the stunningly beautiful, even in black and white), Jasmine Flower as she was walking a group of children and their pets past the Bank.

Now it’s up to the Sheriff Ruggedly Handsome Powerful, played by John Wayne or someone who looks like him, to get the money and save the girl.

But there’s a problem, Sheriff Powerful was shot in his fast drawing gun arm as the bandits made their escape, but it was a flesh wound, so casting the sling aside he leaps out the second floor window onto his trusty steed George Trigger The-Horse, and takes off in hot pursuit…

As the story draws to a close we see the Lovely Jasmine and Sheriff Powerful ride off on their honeymoon as Ugly and his fellow banditos wearing grey overalls with black arrows pointing up snarl at them through the bars of the county jail, while being pelted with eggs and rotten fruit by the happy townsfolk.

Justice has prevailed and the fortunes of Rattlesnake Cultch have been restored and the child Johnny who was wearing a brace on his leg and whose kitten ran off when the schoolmistress was abducted, runs, his leg miraculously healed, waving after the happy couple as they head off into the sunset.

Now for those of us who sat through more than one western movie know that this is the plot before the film even starts rolling. The guy with the white hat is the good guy and the man with the black hat and the narrow moustache and shifty eyes is to be feared. But the good guy always wins, the bad guy always comes to justice, and as the good guy rides off into the sunset with the girl as a sweet tune plays.

BUT

Life is not quite always like that, sometimes we have some sucky stuff happen, sometimes the bad guy doesn’t come to justice, well not this side of death anyway, and sometimes bad things happen to good people.

I have heard recently a couple of people at different times who I respect greatly discuss how they deal with times like this. One was talking about the work they do with the law and the other about how they are reacting to the trauma caused by the earthquakes. Both of them mentioned how much Psalm 37 had helped them put things in perspective, placing God in the right place within situations they found themselves in. So today while I’m not going to tackle the whole Psalm I’m venturing into the first eleven verses of it. Read Psalm 37:1-11.

1) A suggestion that comes through this Psalm fairly heavily is ‘Do not fret’, well for those of you who thought a fret was a thing on a guitar it is, but it’s also “to be angry, to burn with anger, to rage, to be jealous, to compete, contend with, furious, raged or troubled.” Well that’s the Hebrew to English interpretation, whereas in English the word is more about “uneasy distress”.

So in life why would we fret? Well in David the Psalm writer’s case, and yes this is the famous King David, It was because he saw, evil men who appeared to be succeeding at their evil, that in their scheming things appeared to go well for them.

BUT

It didn’t, as David said they “like the grass will soon wither, like the green plants they will soon die away.”

Another reason not to fret, or get into this seething anger is that it only leads to evil, interesting when we think of cases when we see someone before the courts because they have gone after a bit of retribution, taken the law into their own hands. The successful business owner who visits the person who owes them and sorts out the debt or the bloke whose girlfriend is insulted so he teaches the other bloke a lesson. I can remember a few times in my own life when the words “Vengeance is mine; saith the Lord” has kept me from doing evil for evil. That all sounds very King James Bible because it is a part quote of Romans 12:19 from the King James Bible, from the NIV Bible we read in “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.”

Something else that you might have just learnt from what I’ve just said is that anger tends to be a universal issue, Corps Officers aren’t immune, the thing to do with that fretting is to let God take care of it either in the here and now or in the future, we tend to forget that he has a better sense of justice than anyone, he is completely just.

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