Beside the Well
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivered them from him out of them all. Psalm 34:19
This verse has been my meditation for the last several days. I wish I were an artist. I would draw the word many with repeated layers, for many, many, many are the afflictions of this life. They are so varied and multiple. We could all recount the several afflictions, disappointments, fears, and hurts we have experienced. That is where we get stuck. We keep looking at the many things against us and fail to recognize the power held in the remainder of the verse.
My next attempt at artistic flair would be on the word but. Dressed as a traffic cop, the capitol B blows his whistle and stretches forth his gloved hand. The afflictions come to a screeching halt piling up at his feet as he points their attention to The LORD—high and lifted up, our hope in the middle bleakness.
He is the one who comes to deliver us from—ALL our afflictions. What a blessed promise! All can’t be drawn large enough. For all the hurts and fears we have named are overcome when we understand the Lord is able to deliver, for all is totally inclusive.
Priscilla Shirer, in her book, Fervent, wrote, “No matter what is against you, it is no match for the power and authority He’s given you access to. There may be armies against, you, but they’re only waiting to become an unwitting witness to the overcoming power of God and the overriding ocean of his grace.” (p 64)
Did you catch that? My afflictions will become “an unwitting witness” to the fact that God is able to overcome—able to deliver. Satan can remind me of my failures, but God will deliver me from them all. My body may age and start to rack with pain, but God will give me grace and deliver me in His time. Friends may fail, children may go astray, life may be hard, but through it all God is the one I can trust. By faith He will help me to continue moving forward. As each affliction is laid to rest they become markers of God’s victories—witnessing stones if you will, where I can build an altar of remembrance.
My God is able to deliver and as His child I choose not to put my focus on my MANY afflictions, BUT on GOD who is going to deliver me from them ALL.
Shirer, Priscilla, Fervent, B&H Publishing, Nashville, Tennessee, 2015