“LORD, do not hold back your mercy from me; let your love and truth always protect me. Troubles have surrounded me; there are too many to count. My sins have caught me so that I cannot see a way to escape. I have more sins than hairs on my head, and I have lost my courage.
Please, LORD, save me.
Hurry, LORD, to help me.” – Psalms 40:11
My intermittent gift is a vivid recollection of the sights, sounds, and smells of events in my past. At times I have only to close my eyes as one of my senses ignites a memory and a spherical landscape envelops me.
It is these memories, I think, that contribute to the desperation in different aspects of my walk with God.
Tonight it was a flat black leather belt, one of Jaclyn’s, that lay on her hope chest at the foot of the bed. I picked it up to move it, told Stephanie, who’s visiting me, that I might have to borrow it because I liked the simple, supple feel of it and the faint leather smell.
A sharp inward breath, near a gasp, and I was beneath the belly of a large, sweating, panting, anxious horse, holding the thick black leather strap of its saddle, trying desperately to avoid its hooves, fearing it would trample me but fearing more the black braided leather whip with which my stepdad was attempting to strike me.
I could see everything, smell the horse’s perspiration mingled with the warm, moist, leather strap, feel it biting into my fingers with each jerk of the reins.
Don’t get me wrong. I am quite healed.
The memory is only such, a memory. That memory, though, among others, is a reminder of who I could have become.
Who would strike a child with a bullwhip from the back of a horse? A whisper at a time led this man to make those choices.
“Please save me.
Hurry, Lord, to help.”
One of my pastors once said, “If you have come through hell, everything else in life feels like heaven.”
“So we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day. We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles. We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we cannot see. What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16
“… new every day.”
Every day is an opportunity to give in to the enemy’s whispers or to rise ‘glory to glory’ as Paul dares us. Every day, freshly pursue your relationship with God, with brothers and sisters in Christ or risk being whispered away by sin.