He sent from on high, He took me;When I ponder the oceans of life, I see troubled times, sorrow, hard times and new daunting tasks. I think of Jesus calling Peter out on the water in Matthew 14:28-33. If Peter kept his focus on Jesus, he literally walked on water. When I keep my eyes on Jesus, He will pull me up, just as I am sinking and I can walk on the figurative waters. This past week, called to a new ministry, I found myself in uncharted waters. But I knew Jesus had called me out on the water.
He drew me out of many waters.
He rescued me from my strong enemy,
from those who hated me,
for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place;
He rescued me, because He delighted in me. 2 Samuel 22:17-20
One week ago, I woke in the middle of the night, and a small voice told me, "Isaiah 6." Trying to fall back to sleep, I willed myself to remember Isaiah 6 in the morning. When I woke, I recalled the voice. Why Isaiah? I have read the book of Isaiah before. I'll be honest; I don't like it. I don't understand it. I get lost in its imagery. As I open God's Word to Isaiah 6, I'm struck that it contains Isaiah's encounter and commission from the Lord.
First, Isaiah's encounter with the Lord is a calling to be transparent before Him, exposing sin. The angel touches Isaiah's lips or mouth to forgive his sin and takes away guilt. Interestingly, Isaiah's ministry (and typically our ministry) relied on his mouth (speaking). Then, Isaiah is sent to prophecy. Isaiah's response is, "Here I am, send me!" How could mine be any different? Immediately, I agree, Here I am, but not me, You through me. Speak through me.
In my task this week to teach God's Word, the enemy lurked his head: doubt, a cloudy mind, disrespectful children, silence on the home front. "But the Lord was my support." I've never received so many encouraging words. He supported me through my circumstances physically and through the words of His children to me.
As I rose to deliver my teaching, or rather His teaching, I realized He had brought me to a broad place. Here I was surrounded by people that wanted me to succeed, win, to do a work to which He called me. And why would He allow this? "..because He delighted in me." This blows my mind!
Who am I that He delights in me? I feel inept most of the time! Interestingly Moses asked the same question (Exodus 3:11) when God sent Him to Pharaoh, and David asks God the same question five times. Over a month ago, I journaled a paraphrase of David's response to God's blessing in 2 Samuel 7:18-22,
Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my name and family worth that you have brought me this far? And yet what you've done in my life is so small compared to all you are capable of. You have promised a legacy for all eternity because I am Christ's child. So what else can I say? I am your humble servant! You are great and have promised great, wonderful things. And in your giving you have revealed to me mysteries. You are great and unique, truly no one compares to You!As I've watched God work mightily in my life this past week, I know it's all Him. And I am on guard, that pride doesn't sneak in, that I fully depend on Him using me. Not myself. My pastor brother-in-law shared a prayer from a book of Puritan Prayers, Valley of Vision,
Destroy in me every lofty thought,
Break pride to pieces and scatter it to the winds,
Annihilate each clinging shred of self-righteousness,
Implant in me true lowliness of spirit,
Abase me to self-loathing and self-abhorrence,
Open in me a found of penitential tears,
Break me, then bind me up;
Thus will my heart be a prepared dwelling for my God...Often we find ourselves in more than just one water. As I struggle through parenting and worshiping idols, I feel the wind in the water. Praise God I can recall victories, the broad places, so I can trust while I'm in the other waters.
What waters is He bringing you through right now? Acknowledge that He alone can come from on high and support you. Expect His deliverance, marveling in the fact that He rescues you because delights in you.