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Friday, April 20, 2012

Deliverance

I'm excited to report that God has removed a very tough faith challenge from my life. I had been struggling for many months with a difficult, uncomfortable trial that has given me, the queen of afternoon naps, agita and insomnia. In grappling with the situation, I had imagined numerous ways in which the Lord might intervene, if He chose to change my circumstances at all. At last I resigned myself to accepting things as they were, and prayed for strength to hang on until deliverance came. In less than a week, He moved creatively, definitively, and beyond the narrow scope of my imaginings. Not only was I removed from the furnace, but God granted me a lovely new situation to replace the old hair-raising one. The kicker: I did nothing but show up for the miracle.


In my efforts to cope with the turmoil I felt during those trying months, I had availed myself of much Scripture in which God's people stood up under the divine refining process. Perhaps my favorite story is 2 Chronicles 20, in which King Jehoshophat learns just how inventive God can be in helping His people overcome adversity. I love how God's spokesman tells the worried king, "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them... You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you." (vv. 15-17). In the end, God appoints unidentified attackers to crush Israel's enemies, while His people stand watching from the sidelines! I didn't dare hope for such a marvel in our post-modern, theologically barren society. Still, I wondered if He could possibly be giving me a hint of things to come. Little did I realize, I was only hours away from just such a stunner in my own 21st century life.

When I recently confided my seemingly insurmountable problem to a concerned party, she asked how I was holding up. At the time, my heart was thumping and stress hormones raced around my body like flies at a picnic. While I couldn't honestly deny feeling anxious, I heard myself say, "I have everything I need." And suddenly I knew that was true. It was then that I realized what the prophet Habakkuk meant when he recorded these words: "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior." (vv. 17-18).

Rejoicing, I'm finding out, is a state of mind that comes with the doing, not the other way around.

For more like this, check out: Morsels for Meditation...: Sleep on It

Morsels for Meditation...: Deliverance Part 2, AKA, Jurassic Park Revisited

Morsels for Meditation...: God Rather Than Men

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