Saturday, November 5, 2011

Deliverance - Part 2

Deliverance – Part 2
Ah, that sweet word again.  We left the Israelites with the promise in Exodus 14:14, “You need only be still.  Let the Lord fight for you.”  They were starting to believe that their hopes of deliverance were, literally, about to be drown in the Red Sea.  But, God did indeed fulfill His promise of deliverance out of captivity from the Egyptians in a most amazing way.
Some of us may experience deliverance through an all out, unquestionable miracle from God.  Others of us may experience deliverance with some help from a doctor, therapist or by other natural means.  And some of us will have to wait until Heaven to experience the deliverance we long for.  None of us knows when our Red Sea will part.  The question I always seem to trip over when pondering that is, what do I do in the meantime?  Do I pray in faith, expecting every morning to wake up healed?  Or do I simply wait for God, in His sovereignty to heal me? 
This may be a simple question for others, but this one has tripped me up for a long time.  I would pray, I would receive prayer in accordance with James 5:14-15, I would fully expect my miracle and I would leave still sick.  As you may have experienced yourself, this can be a bit disillusioning.  I know God still heals, I know He still parts the Red Sea, I’ve seen Him do amazing things.  So….where is my deliverance?
God promised the Israelites deliverance from captivity.  He also promised us deliverance from our afflictions.  The Israelites had to wait a long time to see that promise fulfilled.  Many of us are waiting a long time too.  Just as His promise in Exodus 14:14 was true, His promises of healing in Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24 are still real.  Just as He parted the Red Sea, He will deliver us from this sickness, this pain, this affliction.  He alone knows the timing.  Trusting Him with that timing can be so hard, especially when the wait is long.
Even as I write this, I have a low fever, my body aches and I would like to lay my head down for a rest. I enjoy glancing at some mommy oriented blogs in my down time. But, times such as these, it feels like a reminder of everything I’m not doing: the healthy, home cooked recipes, the creative home schooling ideas, the character building service projects.  Yep, around here, it’s more like “let’s lay down and read a book together,” or “show me what you guys can build with these leggos.” (As I sit here and watch and do the bare minimum to make sure nothing too terrible happens.)  My point here is not to whine, but to say, I don’t want to live like this, I want this season to be over. I am doing all I can to recover: I am praying like the persistent widow in Luke 18, I am going to a doctor and a nutritionist, but I am learning to surround all this with surrender to Jesus.
Some of the things that we can rest in and know to be true in this waiting:

1.       Hebrews 11:6  Faith pleases God.  Even when it seems to be fruitless, it’s not. It pleases Him.
2.       Luke 18:1-8  Jesus encourages us to pray even when we want to give up.
3.       Isaiah 55:8-11  God is sovereign and at the end of the day, we can trust Him to do what’s best.

Beloved, I do not have answers.  But, I understand how hard it is to cry out to Him day after day and feel that the Heavens are brass.  May I remind you that we are in good company, the best of company?  David prayed it in Psalm 22, Jesus prayed it on the cross, we often pray it in our affliction, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”  Yet, David ended that Psalm with recognizing God’s sovereignty, “For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations,” and by declaring that God’s goodness will be proclaimed to generations yet to be born.  And, we know how Jesus finished His prayer, “Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit.” Luke 23:46
I pray that we would each have the courage and grace to follow their example and entrust our lives to Him whose very name is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11).   When that beautiful day comes, and we gaze upon His face, we will be glad that we did.

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