God, answer in love! Answer with your sure salvation!
14 Rescue me from the swamp, Don’t let me go under for good,
Pull me out of the clutch of the enemy; This whirlpool is sucking me down.
15 Don’t let the swamp be my grave, the Black Hole Swallow me, its jaws clenched around me.
16 Now answer me, God, because you love me; Let me see your great mercy full-face.
17 Don’t look the other way; your servant can’t take it. I’m in trouble. Answer right now!
18 Come close, God; get me out of here. Rescue me from this deathtrap. (Psalm 69:13-18)
Two years ago marked a season where I cried for rescue. How much more Lord?
Truthfully, there were days when I feared going to sleep because I wondered what new crisis would emerge upon awakening.
Another death of a loved one?
More confusion regarding my son’s health condition?
My husband’s job in jeopardy again?
I resonated with the writer’s feelings of vulnerability here. “Don’t let me go down for good.”
When our energy dissipates and our earthly expectations wane, discouragement sets in. We feel as if we are being sucked down. Keeping your head above water involves crying out to God from the desperate place in our gut. Help me! I can’t do this anymore!
You can’t. But God can.
God longs to deliver us despite what’s whirling around us. God longs to deliver us from the spiral of discouragement, fatigue, bitterness, despair.
Make this Psalm your prayer. Let David’s words become your words. His God is your God.
Your life preserver is on its way. Look for it.
Every January, my husband and I ask each other the same question: “Why do we live here?”
The air stings. Grey skies hover without a slight peek at the sun. The trees bare their nakedness. Sometimes snow; despite it’s nuisance as it mounts, adds a texture of beauty to this somewhat drab palette. This is Winter in the midwest; Chicago to be specific.
Several years ago, my husband worked temporarily in San Diego. On a weekend whim, I flew out to visit. You can eat outside in January? Who Knew? And the scenery…..hello ocean and hills!
Though we considered the prospect of God perhaps moving us out there (ok wishing), it was apparent that Chicago is our home.
Scraping the ice off the windshield after the night temperatures have plunged below zero is not my favorite activity. It requires early preparation in the midst of a hectic school morning routine. Even with the defroster at work, the ice hardens and resists the effort of my chilled to the bone fingers.
In my rush and frustration, the temptation to simply scrape off enough ice to provide a small “window” of visibility seduces me. Yet despite the increasing windchill whipping my face, I know that taking the shortcut increases my chances of an accident. If the back window is not clear, I cannot see what’s approaching behind me. Despite my kids thinking that I do indeed possess eyes in the back of my head, it’s simply not true. If my rear vision is incomplete, my abilities to prevent certain collisions is impaired. If the side windows are still frosty, I may not see the car next to me as I attempt to change lanes. And even a small circle of transparency in the front windshield does not allow me to gauge the elements of all that lie in front of me.
How similar I find the act of scraping a windshield to approaching sinful areas of my life. What is blocking your view? Fear? At times, it floods the senses; resulting in anxiety as we take in the implications of the journey ahead. The heartbeat escalates, eyes grow big, and hands quiver. Is God really big enough to keep us on track despite detours, pot holes? Pride? The ever seducing voice in our head lulls us into a false reality. Our wisdom, though faulty and biased to self, rules the world. We know better. Especially when time constraints beckon. But as the sun bears it’s light onto the foggy windshield, we are blinded. As navigation continues, we find ourselves suddenly braking to prevent colliding with a car which was hidden by the glare. Why am I afraid to “trust in the Lord with all my heart? (prov. 3:5)” Discouragement? Perhaps staggering to the car, while feeling the sting of the air seems like the best you can do. Scraping off the windshield? The task seems too daunting. Confronting the dawn of a new day while deceitful voices whisper words devoid of hope keep us from preparing early. The defroster’s warmth cannot melt the iciness of the morning’s frost quickly. What thoughts can I surrender to God so that the warmth of His light thaws the frost surrounding it? How are you enlarging your “window” of visibility? Little Chisels at a time or engaging in the more arduous process of scraping the covering all at once?
Sin, when not scraped off immediately, becomes a harden base upon which more layers mount. The longer it sits, the more overwhelming the task becomes. The temptation, then, becomes avoiding the removal. Little chisels may provide brief glimpses of the road in front but we find ourselves impaired by the lack of visibility.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”
Or, In this case, “scrape off” everything that hinders.
Fear, pride, discouragement……….Satan wants nothing more than to block our view of the light going before us as we travel. With nothing impeding the view, we can aim clearly toward the destination.
What is hindering yours?