When All the Props are Removed
Ps. 107:26-27 - "They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wit's end" (ESV).
I went to bed and set my alarm clock for 7:00 AM. I had a to-do list ready to be marked off with a mechanical pencil, with a calculated amount of time for each task. I thought I knew what the day would hold, but I was wrong. Instead, shortly after 1 AM I found my middle son having a prolonged seizure. Instead of turning off my alarm clock I dialed 9-1-1 from my cordless phone. 6 hours later, when I should have been getting up, my four-year old and I had already been to two different hospitals, and been asked the same questions dozens of times. I had watched my son be held down by 3 ER nurses for scary sounding tests like a spinal tap. At 7 AM, Sep. 25, 2009, instead of taking my morning shower and getting started on my to-do list like I had planned, I was holding my sedated son's hand praying by the side of his hospital bed.
Not long ago several friends had studied Psalm 107 together. Throughout the Psalm, God is shown using different circumstances in people's lives to help them learn to lean on Him, to turn to Him and appeal to Him. In the last circumstance (in verses 23-32) some men were going about their normal daily activity, performing tasks that had become routine. Then God removed all their props. They are described as being "at their wits end" or "all their wisdom was swallowed up." Even in their everyday lives they realized how much they needed to rely on Him. "Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble" (Ps. 107:28).
Thursday evening as I went to bed, I never would have said it but I felt in control of my life. I knew what needed to get done and what I was capable of doing. But I wasn't in control, I never have been. I didn't realize I thought that way until all the props were removed and "all my wisdom was swallowed up." Now that we're all home again, putting the boys to bed last night was scary, because I didn't know what would happen between the time I set my alarm and when, or if, it went off. However, what I believe is that I serve a sovereign God who does know what will happen. Not only does He know, but He is good! "Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of men" (Ps. 107:31)!
God's love is steadfast, and I thank him for that! He does wondrous works for us, and we don't deserve them. One of those gracious works is removing the props we have erected in our lives in order to teach us to lean on Him. "Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord" (Ps. 107:43).
(Originally posted 9/28/09)