“For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.”
The lights hanging down from the ceiling began to weave and bob. Movement in the room like a slight shifting began to gain my attention rather rapidly! “What’s going on?” my daughter asked as she hurried from the hallway into the kitchen where I stood still as a statue. I had been through a few of these over the years and was pretty certain what it was.
“I think we’re having an earthquake.” The restless movement continued on a bit then stopped. “Whew.” I wondered out loud if there was anything on her IPAD about it. She said her FaceBook friends were posting “Earthquake!!!” Kind of exciting stuff! A pastor friend of mine in Greenville, the location of the quake’s epicenter, said they were okay up there, later on he posted a video from a supermarket showing the cans and merchandise falling off the shelves while an employee rushes out of the way of falling items. My daughter and I were both feeling relieved that we now live in a well-built home, wondering if the old house we just moved from survived the earthquake (it did).
Storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, fires, and other natural occurrences unleash a power that even the best technology and planning cannot prevent. In some ways, we are helpless during the event, trying our best to prepare in advance or to prevent greater harm to those we love and to protect our earthly possessions. There are many other types of storms in life that catch us ill prepared, overwhelming our resources and altering our futures. You know what they are and have experienced a few of them: illness, accidents, betrayal, divorce, death, loss, broken hearts, job loss, financial reversals, emotional wounds, abuse, addictions, disappointment, rejection, and so forth. When these type of life events come our way they have a way of upsetting the applecart, often hurting us deeply. Often, along with the negative circumstance, a residual fall-out occurs which comes in waves that impact our nearest and dearest. What is our anchor during adversity?
Tonight someone called me who I deeply respect as a friend and as a follower of Christ. At first I didn't get it, that this call was because he was in pain and in need of a listening ear, hoping I would understand. The least I could do was to encourage him in his walk of faith. He is in the middle of one of these hard life events where people let you down and cause you pain. I was not given the particulars but I was asked to pray. What does one pray for when another is suffering? All I know is what kind of prayers comfort and help me during such times. I pray for God’s intervention, the strength to carry on, the wisdom to learn, grace to forgive, the ability to walk close with God, and the warmth of God's love and presence.
“For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.” I picture God helping us as He holds our hand while we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. We trust Him to keep us safe and on the right path. I committed this verse to memory a year ago in an effort to bring the words close in my thinking when I am in need of their strength and comfort. Powerful words. The last phrase is especially rich. It is the nugget of pure gold found embed in the hard place as God mines to extract it during the times when He keeps us from stumbling and on the right path--where we will find and experience deliverance.
The end result? ...that I may walk before God in the light of life.