“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.” Psalm 32:3-4
We are in the heat of summer here in Dallas. Its 80 degrees at sunrise and it reaches 100 degrees by late afternoon. The sun is bright and it beats down all day long, with rarely the cover of a cloud. This will happen day in and day out now until mid September. Although, water, shade, fans and air-conditioning are common place and they help us to endure, we can’t really get away from the heat because the sun will not stop shining. The heat doesn’t stop. Day after day, from sun up until sun down, we endure it. Early in the day we manage to stay cool, but as we move through the day it will take its toll on our body and spirit and will sap us of our energy by night fall. Its relentless. By the time mid August comes we are wondering if we will have the strength to endure until the cooler days arrive in autumn. But we don’t quit, we don’t give up, we keep pressing. Why? Because we know that this heat is just temporary. Although it may seem like forever, cooler days WILL come. How do we know this? Because year after year the summer heat arrives, but it doesn’t stay forever, cooler days re-appear again come fall.
“Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you, while you may be found; surely when the high waters rise, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:6-7
Although we have the comforts of air conditioning, water and shade in Texas, that does not guarantee we will be protected from the sun at all times, and when your not it is very dangerous. Recently, while I was driving down a major freeway on the way to a business meeting in Fort Worth, and with traffic surrounding me going 70 miles an hour, my car started to sputter and lose power. I have had this happen to me before, not recently, but as a teenager driving our well aged cars, so I was familiar with what was happening and knew that my car was likely going to quit running soon. Not wanting to get stuck in a middle lane with high speed traffic pressing me in, I quickly started changing lanes and moving toward the shoulder to get safely out of traffic. The nearest off ramp was 1/2 mile ahead, but my car lost power and stalled before I could get there. So there I was, stuck on the shoulder of a major freeway, in the heat of the day, no water and no a/c. It was a very dangerous situation. It was hot inside the car, it was hot outside the car, and the traffic was heavy. I managed to find a shade tree about 50 yards away where I used my cell phone to call for help. The first call was to my husband, who was powerless to rescue me because he was 10 miles away and I had our car. My second call was to our auto insurance company asking them to activate their emergency tow service. After 15 minutes discussing the situation, I was finally told by the insurance company that the tow truck was on its way, in the meantime, I must stay close to the car. This left me with only one option and that was to remain in the heat, but at least I was under a shade tree. Once the immediate crisis was handled, I used my phone to text out my situation to my prayer partners asking for prayer, I then put my phone away to preserve its battery. Feeling Gods hand was heavy upon me, I proceeded to pray, asking God what he was trying to teach me and asking him to rescue me from this situation. He told me he was preparing me and that this was a test. I asked him what I should do, and he told me I needed to pray and worship, so I did. I paced back and forth under the tree singing and praying for 45 minutes, looking for the tow truck but it never appeared. I contacted the insurance company again to find out the status of the tow truck and was told it would be another 30 minutes. I continued to pray and worship. It was hot, really hot and I was thirsty, but there was no relief available, so my only option was to endure. I was in the heat for over three hours before the tow truck arrived. During that time, I prayed and worshiped and stayed calm knowing that although the situation was dangerous, God was with me and in time he would send me help. After over 2 hours, he finally sent a couple of wonderful gentlemen in an emergency vehicle to stay with and protect me while I waited the final 45 minutes for the tow truck to arrive. Although it was a very long day in the heat and it could have been dire, God was there with me the whole time. He protected me from trouble and surrounded me with my own songs of deliverance to comfort me while I waited, just as his Word promises.
“Many are the woe’s of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. Rejoice in the Lord and be glad you righteous; sing all you who are upright in heart!” Psalm 32: 10-11
These times are heating up in other ways to, as wickedness surrounds me. In order for me to be confident in God within this wickedness, God set up this test to help me practice putting my trust in him. I’m not quick to forget the police officers who lost their lives fighting evil just a couple weeks ago in downtown Dallas, I live less then 35 miles away from that area and go to downtown Dallas alot. Although, I could’ve easily tried to reason away my car breaking down as pure chance, or been angry at God for allowing the whole situation, I see so clearly now how pressing through and seeking God within the circumstance has helped my trust in him grow stronger. So strong, that when the next trial comes I will be singing songs of gladness because I have an upright heart. A heart that is safely anchored in the love of my unfailing God.
I know that I am not alone in my trials. Every day I speak to followers of Christ who are being tested. Often times, they are in situations seemingly beyond their capacity to fix on their own and they wonder where God is and are asking why isn’t he helping? God is there, and he IS helping, we just don’t always want to recognize him and sometimes we will even deny him. It is within these trials that God gets an inside view of our heart to see how much work we need to do in order to be anchored in him. God wants the very best for us. He doesn’t want us to be anchored to our circumstances, he want us to be anchored in him. Because, in him, is the only place where we will find true freedom and peace. Peace beyond all understanding.
So the next time you find yourself in a trial, don’t bail on God in the heat of the pressure. The God who created you is right there with you, seek him. Don’t let your mind convince you that your done, instead let your heart and your faith be anchored in Gods truth. The truth is that He loves you and will never, ever, forsake you. The truth is that He has great plans for you and loves you to heaven and back! Keep pressing in and call upon the power of the Holy Spirit, and you will find that your breakthrough and your freedom will be just around the corner and you will soon be singing in praise.