Friday, May 28, 2010

Deliverance or Survival

“The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine" (Psalm 33:18, 19).

This verse speaks to me of two possible scenarios - times when God totally delivers us from difficult situations and times when He brings us through them. I prefer deliverance, but that is not always best for my spiritual growth.

I recently visited one of my daughters. The five hour drive was challenging, but God enabled me to do it. Of course I was hoping to feel well during my visit since we had an agenda of activities. I developed a headache on my drive there. By the evening it was a severe migraine which stayed with me for my entire trip, despite medication. God gave me brief times of reprieve, but He never removed it. The headache left the day I came home.

In previous years, my plea during such an excruciating time would have been for deliverance only. I would have viewed this trip as a total loss, even though I was able to do all the activities I had planned and enjoyed them as much as possible. God did not deliver me, but He kept me alive through my “famine”. Surviving a famine may not be pleasant. This Scripture does not promise abundant food that is easily accessible, but it does promise provision.

I am learning to pray for endurance as well as deliverance. I must believe in faith that whatever method God chooses for each circumstance is best. This experience was another step on my journey of pain with the Lord and it was a victory, although not an easy one. The ultimate deliverance is coming. For now the ability to persevere and survive can be just as much of a miracle as deliverance. This was one of those times, and I will not forget it.

Prayer: O Joy that seeekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee; I trace the rainbow through the rain, and feel the promise is not vain that morn shall tearless be (Hymn "O Love That Will Not Let Go"). Amen.

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