(Meditating on Psalm 68)
Praise the Lord; praise God our savior!
For each day he carries us in his arms.
20 Our God is a God who saves!
The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death. (Psalm 68:19-20 NLT)
I read Psalm 68 and I remember a beautiful testimony the Lord had so graciously given me during a time in my life when joy, hope and relief couldn’t be seen in the horizon.
It was New Year’s Day 2005. I opened my eyes in the early morning (it felt like I hadn’t been sleeping at all) just as the soft rays of the sun bathed the trees with their golden glow. I found myself alone in the room where we were staying: a spacious room attached to the chapel of the Fasting House in Pampanga. I presumed my beloved husband was already in the chapel praising together with other brethren who were praying and fasting, and Hannah and Annabelle our maid were probably out playing.
I heard some workers pass outside my window. I just knew they were going for a short vacation, visiting loved ones and friends. It was New Year’s Day anyway. I lay in bed very still. I gazed at the golden canopy of the Damortis tree just outside my window reflecting the sun, but my heart was gloomy, inconsolable. How I would have loved to go visiting, too, but I was very sick in bed and so uncertain how long until healing would come, and if it would even come at all?
Before the New Year, I didn’t have plans of going back to our home in the city. I was thinking we would be staying in the Fasting House for an indefinite period of time. Felix my husband had been driving back-and-forth between Antipolo and Pampanga to visit our office. We had spent Christmas and New Year in the Fasting House, leaving our home beautifully adorned for the holidays. But celebrating Christmas then was the furthest thing from my mind. It felt like it was only a matter of days before I would go to be with the Lord. And I was so scared. We were only a year of knowing Christ.
I was engulfed by sadness as I talked to God:
Whether it’s a starry night or a beautiful morning such as this, O dear God, it is the same with me. For others, this is another day of living, of going about their craft or business, of chasing their dreams, of being with people, of walking, and traveling… When the night turns to day, it is the same suffering for me. How many more mornings such as this? How many more mornings to arrive that I cannot see the bright color of my surroundings, that my heart is filled with sorrow and my eyes have forgotten to light up? O, my dear God, I am inconsolable!*
After I’ve uttered these words in my heart, I heard a whisper just behind my ear. Go home, My child. Wherever you go, I’m always there with you.
It was just a gentle whisper but it was so clear and powerful that I felt a bright light had pierced through the darkness of my soul. Instantly, all the depression was lifted up. Joy filled my heart and I felt strength creeping to my flesh and bones as I sat up and immediately called for my husband. I excitedly told him what happened. We were going home! I was bathed in hope! My husband quickly packed our things and within an hour, we were leaving the Fasting House for home.
When my beloved husband laid me down on my bed, I felt warmth enveloping my tired, sick body. And as I succumbed to a much-needed rest, I knew that I came home straight to the Lord Jesus’ waiting arms. Before sweet slumber took over me, I heard that gentle whisper again. Now, I’m going to heal you.
He was there before me. He was, and still is, true to His promise. Halleluiah!
32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth.
Sing praises to the Lord.
33 Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens,
his mighty voice thundering from the sky.
34 Tell everyone about God’s power.
His majesty shines down on Israel;
his strength is mighty in the heavens.
35 God is awesome in his sanctuary.
The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
Praise be to God! (Psalm 68:32-35 NLT)