Psalm 18 became real to me during March 2004 while on a trip with Mike to Billy Graham’s retreat “The Cove,” near Asheville, North Carolina. We were awaiting news of our new ministry assignment, one of the last of 14 seminary families to be assigned after an incredible, stretching year in the Beeson doctoral program. It was a time of trusting, for the Mobile call we believed God had for us had just been given to a younger couple with less experience (but more “connections”). During that weekend, we learned that Millbrook was “the one”, and we knew that finding a house—our first ever—from two states away would soon be on the docket. The last ten years of ministry…from Asbury to Asbury once again…had been incredible.
Three specific verses from this Psalm that touched my heart while stealing away to pray and meditate under a tree that afternoon were
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me”
35 You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.
As a child, I could not keep from turning my ankles! We kept ACE bandages on hand, and I wore them often. One version of this Psalm says, “You stoop down to make me great.” I could not get my mind around the fact that sometimes God does indeed stack the deck in our favor when it comes to making His way—and His blessing—clear to us. We hear a lot about staying on the narrow path in order to be close to His heart, but when HE BROADENS the path beneath your feet, it’s an amazing realization. Words like “spacious”, “delighted”, “rescued”, “sustains”, “saving”, and “shield” describe the lengths He goes for us just to show His love for each of us uniquely. As our retreat gets underway today and we learn what it means to see God’s Kingdom multiplied through prayer, may we beam inwardly that spreads outwardly to know that He honestly DELIGHTS in us. He loves to lead us to spacious places. He lives to rescue us…not just through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, but daily in both small and big ways. Know that, if you are presently fighting an enemy as is described in the other verses of Psalm 18, this will be the end result as we “show ourselves faithful.” His grace is sufficient for us to do just that.
Prayer: “Lord Jesus, thank You for Your saving help, my shield. Thank You for all from which You protect me, much of which I may never know. Thank You for Your right hand, the POWER hand, which keeps me sustained and standing, even if I haven’t the strength to take a step. Standing is territory held, also. Thank You for broadening the path beneath my feet when my natural ability fails me. It delights me to know that YOU DELIGHT in me! Guide me and lead me today exactly as You will. Speak to my heart and ease any burdens that would keep my mind off of You and what You want to do in me, around me, through me. Thank You for leading me thus far, and for this new spacious place in which to adventure with You. Empower me by Your Holy Spirit to see with Your eyes, hear with Your ears, and believe with Your heart. I love You, Lord! In Your precious Name I pray, Amen.”