As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Psalm 146:7b-9 (NRSV)
The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
While reading this psalm my mind showed me pictures of people I’ve known and the evil that beat them down. Beside that screen, another screen showed the same person after God’s deliverance. Incredible transformations! Shout with me, “Yes, Lord, you desire to set us free!”
Whitey was in his mid-60s when I knew him. Colorful in blue jeans, yellow flannel shirt, wide red suspenders, and cowboy boots, his personality was even more colorful! His face was worn and scarred from hard times, but he was developing new laugh lines that pointed to heaven. His eyes could pierce you—except that he was legally blind. Nonetheless, he drove all over the Rocky Mountain west buying sheep for a major corporation!
Whitey couldn’t see the sheep well enough to judge them, so he graded them by touch as they ran between his legs—7,000 on some days. His bosses never knew he couldn’t see. A lot of money was at stake at Whitey’s fingertips. Because of the stress of travel and the pressure to perform, he attempted to numb the tension slightly with alcohol, but the effect was never enough nor did it last long enough. Whitey became a prisoner in what he called “booze jail.”
Whitey was successful in the wallet. “I was as high as you could go in my line of work and just forty-years-old,” he told me, but he was sick in his heart. “There’s no glory in being an alcoholic.” God healed Whitey—a prisoner set free with 20/70 physical sight and 20/20 spiritual discernment. “All we want to do [now] is give the glory to God for God’s healing power.” Again and again he boldly befriended men and women who, like him, had been trampled on by the deceptions of this world, leading them to God’s transforming power.
We can’t stop God’s delivery of care to us, but we can fail to ask for God’s help. “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2b).
What are your needs?
Gracious Lord, creator and ruler of all, nothing is beyond your control. Just as you preserved Whitey while he ignored you, you have brought me into your family. Teach me more of what I need to learn so that I can follow the path you have prepared for me and serve you with joy, boldness, and integrity. Amen.
Go with God.