It had to end. The good days had to come to an end. I knew it would happen. I was even a little worried about when it would happen. It happened today. I knew it even before I was fully awake this morning. I knew that my streak of good days had ended. Today would be a day that I had to dig deep and find the strength to get myself out of bed.
I did get out of bed, although it took me a little while. I also decided to let the kids sleep a little longer than usual this morning. I needed to have some peace and quiet for just a little while. I thought about not going to church this morning. My heart wasn't really in it. I'm glad I went though. God gave me what I needed to help me through this day, and really the next several that are to come.
My Sunday school lesson this morning was based on Psalm 116:1-19.
1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, save me!"
5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
6 The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.
7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.
8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
10 I believed; therefore I said, "I am greatly afflicted."
11 And in my dismay I said, "All men are liars."
12 How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
16 O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains.
17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all of people,
19 in the courts of the house of the LORD-in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD!
God spoke to me so clearly this morning in the verses of this Psalm. The Lord has indeed heard my voice, and I certainly love him for it. He has heard my cry for mercy. I have cried that many times in the last 20 weeks. Let's go further to say almost 6 years, and even further to say the last 14 years. I will call on him for as long as I live. I know that God is the only one who can truly help me through these hard times. In verse 3, I am overcome with how closely that describes what I have felt since Keith died. I have felt entangled by the cords of death. The anguish of Keith being in the grave has threatened to overtake me at times. I have been overcome by trouble and sorrow. I have called on God to save me.
I don't remember feeling the way these verses made me feel this morning. I felt like these verses were describing me to a "T". I feel like God has given me such a gift today. While I am not in the black or gray that my depression has been, I am not feeling the best emotionally today. This entire Psalm was a gift from God that he has indeed heard my cries. He is aware of my anguish and sorrow.
I am in awe once again of the way God works. I can rest in God's graciousness, righteousness, compassion, and protection. I can rest knowing that God will keep my feet from stumbling, even today when my eyes are full of tears and my soul is weary. If I do happen to go into the gray or black place of depression, God is with me. It's funny though, even though I feel the way I do, I know I won't go there today anyway.
So, yes the streak of good days had to end, but I do give thanks. I give thanks to God for freeing me from the chains that come from living in a sin filled world. I give thanks to God for freeing Keith from the chains of cancer. I give thanks to God for the 18 1/2 years Keith and I had together. I give thanks to God for my moody "tween" daughter, and my adolescent 15 year old son. I give thanks to God for helping me get out of bed so that I could receive the blessing he had waiting on me in Sunday School this morning. I give thanks to God for his Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross so that He could welcome Keith with open arms on the day he was called home to Heaven. I give thanks to God for that same gift that my children and I will both walk into those same arms of Christ and be reunited with Keith when our time comes. I give thanks to God that we have been freed from the chains of an eternal death.
Today, the day that I am not feeling all that well emotionally, I choose to give thanks to God, because I am...
In HIS Grip!