I got attacked last night. Not mugged or anything, but attacked by that enemy who is out to steal, kill, and destroy.
Last night, when I got home from a busy day of errands, I discovered that the car smelled horribly. It smelled like burning rubber! I called my husband out to the garage, and he went around checking the brakes, only to discover that something wasn’t right with one of the back brakes.
I honestly didn’t think much of it. I mean, I acknowledged that something was wrong and I was now without a way to get anywhere until my husband had a chance to see if he could fix it (which, with his schedule, could easily be days), but the thought honestly didn’t raise any worry or frustration or anything…and, perhaps because of that, I didn’t go to God about it.
Then, in the middle of the night, my daughter came to us with pains and numbness in her leg…not the sort that happens when your leg falls asleep. We prayed for her, but I confess that fear started to attack me. It’s not pleasant for your child to have strange pains that you can think of no explanation for.
I lay awake praying…asking God what was going on with her leg? I hated the horrible possibilities that were going through my mind, and I rushed to pray against them…only to be hit by doubt. What if my prayers made no difference? What if this…what if that? Confusion followed quickly on Doubt’s heals.
Again I asked God for direction, peace, and answers…and then I was hit by guilt, for I have allowed myself to be easily distracted from Him the last two days. I know He is still there, but I also know that I have not been abiding in Him. And in this stage I now find myself, in my walk with God, it is very apparent to me what a difference it makes to be abiding in Him, or wandering through life ignoring Him.
Somehow I fell asleep, still troubled by Fear, Doubt, Confusion, and Guilt, and still feeling the loss of that special connection I so desperately wanted but hadn’t spent time cultivating.
This morning, our new puppy woke me up early with her howling, and though she quickly went back to sleep, I didn’t. I began praying again, and this time I was awake and conscious enough to feel my hunger for Him…to know that I was not going to allow myself to be distracted from Him this morning…I needed Him too much! (Why do we so often wait for Him to make us need Him before we seek Him? Forgive me, Father! Thank You for Your mercy and lovingkindness!) I began reciting Psalm 91 quietly…both over my daughter sleeping next to me and my own spirit. I knew I would turn to Psalms this morning.
So when the morning rush was over and I settled down with my Bible, I found myself reading Psalm 46. And what I found ministered to me so much that I want to share it, for it instantly brought peace to my heart, and joy in who my Father is…those things that make cars-that-can’t-be-driven and daughters-with-mysterious-pains mere nothings compared to Him. He also gave me another marvelous picture of what this Psalm means…one that successfully and easily fought those four nasty things that had attacked me at 2:00 in the morning.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
That’s precisely what I needed to be reminded of this morning…which I knew, but somehow it’s different when the words that are speaking it are His words. My words are a statement. His words are power and life.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
It’s amazing how those words breathe peace into my heart. It doesn’t matter why K–’s leg was hurting. God has it under control. It doesn’t matter whether the brake problem will be covered by the warranty, or if I’ll have a way to get to music practice tonight. God has it under control.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
I wish I understood what this river was. Is it, by any chance, His Spirit? Or perhaps they are the channels through which His peace flows to me.
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
Ah!!! We are His dwelling places, for He lives within us! So we are the city of God! And that is how a city can be glad, because it is a living, breathing entity, full of Him.
5 God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
This is also why a city would need helping. But again, He is in this city of us.
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
I think this is Him acting on our behalf. I wonder if nations refers to physical nations, and kingdoms refers to spiritual kingdoms that are arrayed against us?
The Lord of hosts is with us;
“Of hosts.” Elisha’s servant was privileged to see those hosts. Jesus knew they were there, awaiting His command, if He so chose to call them.
I want to see them! I want to know in an even deeper way that my God has hosts of armies at His command!
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
So…if we are a city, then in order to be a proper city, we must have a stronghold. For in Bible times through the Middle Ages, every city had a stronghold–a section fortified with everything the builder of the city could muster. Our stronghold is the “heart” our city, where we are strongest, and where we can always retreat to…a place fortified so much that it is indestructible…a place filled with the stores and weapons needed to outlast any attack.
And we do have such a stronghold. It is Him!
8 Come, behold the words of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
This is interesting. We are being called to come watch Him wage war with his words (which is how He releases His power), destroying things and making places desolate. He is going out against our enemies!
9 He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
These are the actions of a victorious warrior, not the actions of a defeated one!
10 “Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Stop trying so hard! That is an amazing command, even if it is one we have a really, really hard time doing. Why is it so hard to stop? Especially since we have the assurance here that our stronghold will be exalted! And an exalted stronghold is a victorious stronghold–a stronghold whose fame spreads far and wide because of its glory and its strength.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
I suppose the sons of Korah felt that this was worth repeating. ::smile:: And I agree, because now that I see how God is my stronghold in a more glorious way, I want to remember it and repeat it to myself until the truth of it gets deep inside of me.
God is my stronghold!