Routine keeps me on time, on task, nothing forgotten. Mental to-do list of who, what, where, when and how. Small warning signs of trouble may be ignored but this time, God was speaking, preparing for the test and trial. I knew something was coming, I did not know what. Easy to praise the Lord when life is going according to my plan but much too easy to coast and think, “I got this…”
The major interruption. The unexpected, unplanned, unanticipated event; not on my schedule. All routine out the window, calendar useless, reminders, lists, obligations, email alerts all ignored.
The cords of death encompassed me, and the torrents of ungodliness terrified me. The cords of Sheol surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me. Psalm 18:4, 5
Trying to breathe, to remain calm, to put two coherent thoughts together. Who to call/text? There is one, the One who is above all others. In these moments, I can only fall at His feet. Heart pounding, I open His Word…
“I love You, O Lord, my strength.” The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. … In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple,
and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.Psalm 18:1 – 3, 6
This enemy is bigger than any ever imagined and foundations are cracking, rendered powerless, without knowledge, adrift without a schedule or plan to follow. Refusing to dwell on what might happen, what could happen, what is the worst that could happen; choosing to focus on the One Who gave His permission for this trial, this test.
Then the earth shook and quaked; and the foundations of the mountains were trembling and were shaken, … He bowed the heavens also, and came down with thick darkness under His feet. He rode upon a cherub and flew; and He sped upon the wings of the wind. Psalm 18:7, 9 – 10
God rushes in, He allows every earthquake to accomplish His purposes and He stands at the epicenter with His arms wide. He gives strength to bear my burden, He sends Aarons and Hurs to keep my arms strong and heart lifted to Him.
He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me. Psalm 18:16 – 19
The quake was strong, intense and thankfully short. There were aftershocks that occurred without warning; they were accompanied by shortness of breath, sleeplessness, loss of appetite and ability to focus, a constant sense of anxiety. God, His character, His Word, His Truth needed to be repeated, often, and deeply planted to recognize and reject the lies, to slow the breathing, to quiet the mind.
As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God, the God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand upholds me; and Your gentleness makes me great. You enlarge my steps under me, and my feet have not slipped. Psalm 18:30 – 36
Back on schedule with minor, manageable, interruptions; they are welcome after all the rocking and rolling. God chose to deliver and give what was requested, He was gracious and merciful to me. Ultimately He gave the one thing He always and consistently gives, His gave according to His will and purpose. Would I be praising the Lord as much if my request did not agree with His will? Difficult to say, I like to think I would and I know I would trust Him to lead me through whatever He allows and I know there will always be another quake. Lord, help me continue to sing…
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of my salvation, … He delivers me from my enemies; surely You lift me above those who rise up against me... Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O Lord, and I will sing praises to Your name. Psalm 46 – 49