Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

Psalm 18:1-19
1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
9 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies ,
great bolts of lightning and routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support.

19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

One day, years ago, I had stopped by my church for something in the middle of the afternoon. I don't remember what it was...paperwork or something more than likely. I had just left the building and was headed to my car when the youth pastor drove up and bounced out of his car with a big smile on his face. (He always had a smile on his face!) He greeted me...and I greeted back. I asked how he was and what was new. He said, "Man! I've been reading Psalm 18 and it is SO GOOD!" I thought, oh, OK...well that's good. And I went on my way.
What I didn't know was that Psalm 18 was going to become very important to me.
You see, at that time I was in the midst of a really bad depression. I was in one of the worst "episodes" I'd ever experienced. But I hadn't told anyone. I kept it to myself. I kept it inside. I was dealing with it alone...not thinking that I could tell anyone because "what kind of christian would they think I was?" What I thought, and some of what I'd been led to believe by others, was that Christians don't get depressed. They can't. How can they when they're supposedly "full of the holy spirit"? If I have Jesus...if I have the holy spirit IN me, how could I be so full of desperation and turmoil? So, I kept it to myself. And in that secrecy and shame and confusion the depression grew and grew.
Eventually, I was at an all-time low. I was a mess. And I couldn't seem to get a grip. I was falling...and I was alone.
Or so I thought.
Go back to the youth pastor cheerfully bouncing out of his car and tossing Psalm 18 my way. He tossed it...I caught it...and as soon as I got home I opened up my bible to find words that would save me...from myself.
The psalmist (David) talked about "cords of death" and "cords of the grave" entangling him and confronting him. He was in trouble. He was in danger. He was being attacked and surrounded by fear. But what did he do? In his distress, he called to the Lord. He cried out. He ran to God. In the midst of the craziness, he cried out to God. And you know what? God heard his voice. God HEARD David. And you know what else? He heard MY cry, too. As I read Psalm 18 for that first time it pierced through that darkness...it pierced through those crazy thoughts running through my mind. The words of David, inspired by God Himself, touched me. And at that very moment the ascent out of that darkness began.
Not only did God hear my cry...he was angry at my enemy. Smoke rose from his nostrils...fire came from His mouth...he shot arrows at my enemy...the earth trembled because of His anger toward my enemy. Not toward me. He wasn't mad at me. He was coming to my rescue. He parted the heavens and came down with clouds under his feet to rescue me. Can you imagine that? I couldn't. But after reading Psalm 18...I saw it. And I felt it. And I believed it.
And then...as if all of that wasn't enough...you get to verse 16. And I breathe with a deep sigh just thinking about it...are you ready? He reached down from on high and took hold of me. Isn't this amazing? Does this just not blow you away? It did me. I was stunned...I was in awe...and I was so very thankful.
As I read Psalm 18 for the very first time, I made little notations to these few verses that literally jumped off the page at me. These verses were penned for me. They may as well have said, "Dear Michelle" at the beginning and "Love, God" at the end. In November of 2005 (that's what the notation says in my bible) as God spoke to me through this beautiful Psalm, {I spoke back}....
He reached down from on high and took hold of me {thank you}, he drew me out of deep waters. {I was drowning} He rescued me from my powerful enemy, {yes} from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. {thank you, Lord} He brought me out into a spacious place; {so I could breathe} he rescued me because He delighted in me. {thank you, Lord}
Doesn't that just make you want to take a deep breath and let out a big sigh? It does me. As a matter of fact, I just now did just that. 'He brought me out into a spacious place' may very well be one of my most favorite lines. I was suffocating. I was drowning. I was in the dark. And God came...and he drew me out...and he rescued me...and he brought me out into a spacious place. So that I could breathe...
And He'll do it for you, too.
God is so good.

12 comments:

Mari said...

Amen Sister! Love that chapter in Psalms too...it IS very special indeed. Thanks so much for reminding us of that treasure again. So glad God pulled you out.

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

So good! I'm off to read more Psalms.

Baby Mama said...

LOVE THIS!!!! He is so good.

Nancy said...

I'm so grateful for a God that cares for little ol' me. I feel like I just had myself a little Bible study in reading your blog. Thank you.
P.S. Love that you make notes in your Bible. I do too. I think God even likes it; makes His word very personal to each of us, don't you think?

WhiteStone said...

There are certain Scriptures that I cling to. Thanks for relating how this one hits your heart/soul. I'll read it more closely myself.

Sarah { bee house hives } said...

I love thinking of His hand reaching down to cup us up. What a comfort.. wow what a comfort.

Cindy said...

Oh man, so powerful! I love David, he is every man. What an awesome post! You just never know what or who God is going to use to help us. Thank goodness for the youth pastor that day and for David and our Saviour. Often times before work I am stressed, i just am for no reason other than i just am afraid. i grab my bible, often turn to psalms or proverbs and pray and read a verse that i can repeat or meditate on while driving to work and by the time i get there i am calm and feel peaceful. thanks for sharing your story:)

Stephanie said...

I just found your blog though Sarah (BeeHouseHives) and I am so glad I did. What a beautiful story of God's hand in/on your life. He had taken hold of you (as you drove away from that ordained moment with your youth pastor)before you even knew it. And then gave you the grace to recognize it. What a beautiful gift. Thank you for reminding me that He pursues us, fights for us and rescues us.

Camie | Red Gate Gardens said...

Thank you, Michelle, for sharing this. Wednesday's are a favorite day...

XO

Laura said...

Thank you for your words and encouragement. I have been there, too, and it amazes me how I FORGET to call out to God. Thanks for the reminder.

Love your blog!

Christine H said...

That is such a lovely...and honest....reflection. Thanks for sharing your journey...such an encouragement. I'll be stopping by each Wednesday from now on!

Rebecca said...

Thanks, I needed that.