“Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life.”
Psalms 42:7-8 NKJV
“Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish’s belly. And he said: “I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction, And He answered me. “Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice. For You cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the floods surrounded me; All Your billows and Your waves passed over me. Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’”
Jonah 2:1-4 NKJV
I like to listen to the BBC at night when I go to sleep. Needless to say, many of my dreams feature british accents, and very often the stories figure into the storylines. This morning I awoke to a story featuring notes left by Jews who were in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII. I was filled with sadness as I listened, as I could only imagine the daily struggle of those who were destined to one day board trains headed toward doom.
As I consider the good times in my life, I must also remember the bad. I recall living with, and caring for my Dad during his bout with dementia. I felt like he and I were at the bottom of a turbulent sea, drowning. In that daily struggle, I battled for breath. I often found myself crying out to God in the midst of the struggle, and I have to admit that I had moments where I was not sure if He was even there.
Psalm 42 appeared in my daily reading today. It is one of my favorites, as I have frequently found myself at the end of myself, panting like a thirsty deer, seeking the living water only the Lord can provide. As I read, I found my favorite passage. I have learned that God has been able to reach me best in the most difficult times. Trials cause me to focus on His word.
I have experienced the waves of God as they have washed over my life, and swept me off balance. I have been made powerless, having no reserve.
In the midst of the deep, He calls to me and my heart hears. I can relate to Jonah, caught up in his disobedience, trying in vain to escape the Lord. In the depth of death, Jonah called out to God, and he was heard. He confessed the sovereignty of the Lord, and acknowledge the rightness of the trial he found himself in.
In the darkness of that moment, Jonah knew, come what may, that he would once again know the goodness of God.
We all find ourselves in trials. Bad things happen, either by chance, by the will of others, or as a consequence of our own misdeeds. It is easy to dwell in the now, and deceive ourselves into thinking that we are lost and doom is near. Jonah knew the faithfulness of God, and he knew that He was soveriegn.
“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.”
Psalms 30:5 NKJV
Many of us feel like we are sinking into that deep, deep turbulent sea, and the waves are washing over us. I am sure that many of us feel hopeless, that we may never know joy ever again. In these moments, one must consider where true joy comes from. I have learned that what is happening in my life has little impact on the joy I feel.
I know my joy comes from the Lord. As I dwell in Jesus, I feel great joy and peace that transcends the situation I may find myself in during a given season.
“How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young— Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah”
Psalms 84:1-4 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, let us dwell on God today, as He is the one we should seek. Let us consider the work that God is doing in us through these times. I can testify to how God has prepared me and refined me in the midst of struggle. With every season I have faced, there came a future work that would not have been possible, had the Lord not tried me by fire. He is preparing us.
In the midst of horror, it is hard to see the outcome of the journey, what God will bring from the suffering. I am sure those from the Warsaw Ghetto could only see the horror awaiting them. In their loss, there was gain as Israel was reborn. NEVER AGAIN!
There is coming horror for the Christian as well. For many it is already here. Those who stand for Jesus are facing tribulation around the world, and inevitably it will arrive at the church doors of America. The difference is we know what is to come.
“For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.”
Revelation 16:14-16 NKJV
Let us go and proclaim the saving power of Jesus as we tell of Him who faced the most turbulent, and most power waves the world had to muster, as He died for our sins. Let us tell of His burial, of His resurrection, of His ultimate victory over sin and death. Because of Him, we know that we too will again look toward His holy temple.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!