“If the Lord had not been for us”…Psalm 124
Yesterday, as I pondered by these words, my mind retraced the many times God has literally saved my life. A home break-in. A mountain climbing slip. Running blind in the dark. A high-speed car accident. If the Lord had not been for me…wow.
I thought of the many other ways God has saved (the Greek word sozo often translated in English as “saved” means wholeness; healing) me from my own brokenness. The wounds of this life, at hands of others or of my own making, have marked me in profound ways. My healing comes, however, in daily, surprising, incremental, and mostly imperceivable ways as I offer those unfinished parts of my soul to God who alone can make whole again. Then one morning I wake up and realize I am no longer angry…or mad…or sad…or bitter. There has been a gift of grace at work beneath the surface of my life. If the Lord had not been for me…
If we look to other things to find the help we need, we end up running ourselves ragged, empty and exhausted still finding ourselves swallowed up and swept away.
Often, however, it is those things in life that threaten to overtake us is where we find it most difficult to receive the unexpected healing and redemption that is offered. Cancer, loss, grief…in our struggle through pain we can come to narrowly define what healing should look like (such as physical…which, however, is not small thing). Expecting, hoping and intensely focused on God to come to us in a certain way, we may miss all the other ways God wants to heal us as well. Unintentionally we can miss experiencing the fullness of the abundant life because we are looking for something else.
The common thread of grace through my life (and I suspect yours) is that it is in the help we experience, not so much the hazards we face, that ultimately shapes and heals us. Once we come to recognize over and over again, “If the Lord had not been for us…” we can live life as grateful recipients of grace however it is offered.