From Psalm 106:9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up, *
and he led them through the deep as through a desert.
10 He saved them from the hand of those who hated them *
and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
11 The waters covered their oppressors; *
not one of them was left.
12 Then they believed his words *
and sang him songs of praise.
13 But they soon forgot his deeds *
and did not wait for his counsel.
Lord, help us not to forget who you are. Why is it so easy to forget? It’s like sin gives us amnesia. It’s easy for us to remember you in the good times. When we are near the good times, near the times when it’s absolutely and without a doubt clear that you have delivered us and given us what we most needed, we are in awe. We praise you! We’re amazed!
And then we wander off on our own again, safe and secure in your love, and we start to forget. We forget how good you’ve been to us. We forget you were the one who delivered us. Sometimes (on our worst days) I think we even forget how much we needed deliverance.
How do we do this? We forget your deeds. We don’t wait for your counsel. That’s what the psalmist tells us.
So today, Lord, I ask you – not only for deliverance, though I do indeed ask for that, for I do indeed need it – deliver me, oh Lord, from the hand of the enemy, from the cancer cells which continue to assault my body. But I also ask that in this time when I am still frightened, still pursued by the enemy, totally trusting in you for victory, you will seal that closeness I feel to you and keep that intimacy in the forefront of my heart and mind. In the day of deliverance – total, big deliverance, or small, partial deliverance, either one – do not let me forget that it’s you who has done it. In fact, do not let me forget that there has been plenty of deliverance already, and that I need to keep reminding myself of that again and again.
Help me to recount your deeds. Let me start now. For my salvation, dear God, I thank you. Let me start there, with the amazing deliverance of my life through the precious blood of your Son, and through the power of his resurrected life. And with countless times of deliverance over the years, again both big and small. Deliverance from evil, deliverance from evil getting a foothold in my life when I sometimes acted selfishly or foolishly. And then on to the amazing deliverance of my physical life in the past year as you’ve halted the cancer in some places already, and provided me with doctors, nurses, intercessors, family, who have kept me going. Quite literally.
And help me to wait for your counsel. Oh God, this is hard. So, very very hard. I want to run ahead. I want certainty NOW. I want to know what you are going to do and how you are going to do it and when. I want words of life spoken over me and into me and I want to be sure I have heard them. And those aren’t all bad things, I don’t mean that. But they are not good when they compel me to run ahead of what you’ve given me, or to imagine I am hearing things when I’m not, or to mistake another's voice for yours. Or if I get stuck in impatience and anger or tempted to not hold onto your goodness because I am not hearing what I want to hear when I want to hear it. I need to wait for YOUR COUNSEL. Not the world’s counsel, even though it sometimes sounds pretty good. And sometimes you speak through the many good things and people in your world -- that is part of how you get my attention. But I need discernment. I need your words, your wisdom, your guidance. I need to trust that you’re not going to let me carry too much too soon if I’m not ready to hear it and understand it. (Thank you for that reminder from The Hiding Place.) I need to remember that you are not going to tell me what I don’t need to know, and that in your goodness and wisdom, you truly do know what I need to know and when. Give me ears to hear you, Lord, and help me to wait for your word.
Give me those ears today as I head back to Hillman to consult with my doctors on the next steps of my healing journey. Everything feels muddled and in a mess after the news I heard Friday; everything is up in the air. But I know, Lord, that you are in charge, and that you reign from the throne room in the great hall of my heart. And I know that even if I feel oppressed and on the run, you are the deliverer. You've done it before, you can do it again. And however you choose to deliver me, in whatever way, will be right and good and in the timing you ordain. Amen.