I read another bloggers post recently to which I wanted to reply, but knowing instantly what I wanted to say I knew my reply would be lengthy. So, here is a full post as a reply to the recent blog by Amazed-By-Grace (which if you are not following you are missing out).
As 2014 comes to a close we are often asked to reflect on the past year and identify a single word that sums up your experiences in the last 12 months? When confronted with this question I had an immediate answer : DELIVERANCE
Let me share a brief snapshot of my year…. filing for an completely unexpected (and undesired) divorce, complete emotional destruction, officially hitting “rock bottom”, debilitating guilt, learning what custody arrangements feel like, trying to climb out from the pit, and finally realizing that no matter how hard I tried I simply could not climb out….. but there was God, patiently waiting with an outstretched arm to pull me from the depths through his greatness, mercy, and grace.
The word Deliverance became my theme throughout several events during the year. God showed up in so many situations that I could not deny His presence and active involvement in my life. I am convinced that if we slow down and pay attention we can be amazed how God reveals himself to us. I hope this account of my year of deliverance is an encouragement to at least one who reads this.
A few weeks after realizing a divorce was eminent, I had to leave on a business trip. While sitting in the airport I received a random Facebook message from a woman at my church. Simply stating that she felt God wanted her to tell me to let go and simply trust that God would carry me through.
While on a mission trip as a leader with our youth group in another country, a man from the local village that I had not seen in 19 years arrived at our host church to visit. We sat and talked and prayed and through it he spoke these words, “seek God and he will deliver you through this”.
While on this same trip we were having a morning devo with our team and reading through Philippians. I asked for a student to start reading and each to take a verse around the circle. As it came around to my turn it just “happened to be” the following….
Philippians 1:19 (NIV)
19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[a]
The day after #3 above, another man whom I had gotten to know as a youth on this same mission trip 20 years earlier sought me out at this church that was an hour away from his home. I had not heard from him in 20 years and he did not have knowledge that my family was in the midst of collapse. When I asked why he was willing to come so far he spoke these word (which I wrote down as to never forget) “I didn’t have a choice, God told me to come see you. There is something going on in your life that is trying to destroy you, but God wants you to know he will deliver you. Just trust in what He says.”
Not long after a verse of the day on my Bible app on my phone posted the following:
2 Corinthians 1:10 (NIV)
10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,
These occurrences spoke volumes to my soul. God’s provision was made abundantly clear through these series of events. I am here to say that no matter your situation, no matter how deep your pit, God is standing at the top to pull you up. He stands ready to pick you up and carry you through… and deliver you to the other side.
On the way home from the mission trip I described, this song seemed to come on every hour… I finally relented and listened to the lyrics and came to realize it too was a God given source of comfort in the deliverance he would continue to provide..
As I embraced this renewed commitment to the belief that God can and will be the source of deliverance I have been able to overcome much of the emotional destruction I had been experiencing. Next comes the patience to see what the other side looks like. Waiting on Him to reveal His plan and will for my life is a process…. but that’s another post.
Deliverance… it’s amazing! Look forward to it and…. Be Blessed.