Written by: Amy Dalke
I had two verses running through my head this weekend:
“I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed.” Psalm 34:4-5
I memorized this during my college years, but they were somehow filed away in the recesses of my mind, never moving from my head to my gut.
Until this weekend.
We loaded up the truck for a two part road trip to Dallas (to see Kathryn) and then to Hobart, Oklahoma to spend a few days with Larry’s mother and other Dalke family. (We did not load up the truck and move to Bev-er-ly, which unfortunately is the visual and theme song stirring in my head as I write this.) (If you’re totally lost, stay there. You’re better off.)
During Sunday’s leg from Dallas to Hobart, the verses above from Psalms 34 kept coming up in my head.
So I plopped my bible open to the passage, and had church right there on Hwy 287. (You should not envision a perfect family unit, so dedicated to uniting in worship that we hold our own church service when we miss a random Sunday.) (It just doesn’t happen that way.) (Katy Perry would have been leading worship if that were the case.)
Just keeping it real, friends.
But anyway…I was glad I took more than a cursory glance at this scripture.
Because afterwards, I kind of felt like I could conquer the world. (Or something like that.)
Here’s what surfaced through my reading:
I sought the Lord. I think of myself as a Lord-seeker.
Yet…when hard things happen, God is not always my go-to. I first whine to Larry or friends. Then once I’m properly stirred up to hyper-levels of anxiety, I’ll whine a bit more. Until I eventually realize God has a better way for me to deal with it.
And He answered me.
God talks. He answers.
He gave us His Word to reveal who He is, who we are, and the path we are to walk.
He isn’t hidden. He answers.
And He delivered me from all my fears.
Not only does God have the all-powerful ability to rescue us from that thing/person/situation we fear, but He can also settle our hearts…calm our skyrocketing anxiety…and ease the collateral emotional damage.
Our situation may not change. We may still face the unknown.
We may to continue to stare physical death in the face.
Our kids may still be in trouble.
The business may still be on shaky ground.
The diagnosis still holds.
But when our trust is shifted from our own unstable strength, to confidence in an Almighty, Loving, Unchanging God, our hope can rest secure.
Deliverance from the fear that torments.
And suffocates our soul until all vision is draped with a filter of fear.
They looked to Him and were radiant.
We can look at our limited resources, and seek advice from a flakey world.
But glancing to the left and the right for directions and solutions can leave us more confused. (Like Siri, when she obnoxiously directs you to turn left onto SuchAndSuch Street when There. Is. No. SuchAndSuch. Street. On. The. Left. Shut. Up. Siri.)
When we look up instead of sideways, our hearts light up with God’s radiance.
Our souls are brightened by new hope in the Only True God.
Even if the way ahead is still not crystal clear, our inner fears aren’t blocking the light up ahead.
Their faces are never covered with shame.
In the Hebrew language, this word was mostly used to describe the shame that arises from disappointed hope.
Well, then. I kind of love that.
Because it means that when I look to God (instead of gazing on the hard stuff in front of my face), I can have confidence that He won’t disappoint me. Even when it doesn’t turn out the way I want.
Maybe you think I have a lot of gall telling you that God doesn’t disappoint.
Maybe your level of confidence in God is equal to the level of hope in your dry well.
I wish I had the perfect answer for you.
I wish I could wrap up the answers to your why’s and why not’s, along with your how’s and how to’s, and hand them to you in a gift box, complete with handmade bow.
(I don’t make bows. We’re still speaking hypothetically.)
But all this…I cannot do.
I can promise you, though, that when you allow God to access the depths of your soul, He will help you weed out all that junk that keeps you from hearing Him.
The junk that keeps your vision obscure, and your fears in tact.
He can (and will) deliver you from all that fear, and leave hope in their place.
That fear you’re thinking about right now? Look up to see it from His view.
Don’t wait another second. I’ll quit talking now so you can go deal with it.
p.s. we’ve now arrived in Oklahoma, to a town with only one shopping venue: WalMart. I can’t tell you how big time this is.