Praise the Lord for victories…large and small

We have heard it with our ears, O God; our ancestors have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our ancestors; you crushed the peoples and made our ancestors flourish. It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.

You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob. Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes. I put no trust in my bow,     my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.

Psalm 44: 1-8

On Friday, I was reading in Psalm and was struck by Psalm 44. The rest of the Psalm has a very different tone, but I challenge you to read it in full. The Psalmist is reflecting on the past and the fact that ALL of their victories came from God himself. Victory: Not by the sword or the arm…no trust in the bow…only by God’s righteous right hand and the light of His face. That is just beautiful. It gripped me in such a way that I was prompted to write it down in my notebook along with the date. And when I drove the kids to school I remembered thinking, “Why did I do that? I wonder what God is trying to show me there.” It was truly perplexing…at the time. I had a full day mapped out in front of me. The kids had not been in school a whole lot last week and I had some catching up to do. After all of the kids were delivered to their destinations, I went home.

When I walked in the door- I didn’t even have my jacket off when the phone rang. It was a friend. She and I are cut from the same cloth in many, many ways. Though we both keep to ourselves and we’re not the kind of friends who speak daily or even monthly sometimes…I know her heart. I know that she is always kind and generous and always thinking of others. I know that she and her husband would be here for us if and when we were ever in need. Her awesome hubby even came over with his snow blower and removed the snow from our driveway while I was hunkered down under that “Polar Vortex” inside with our kids. They are truly kind and caring and wonderful people. She began to share of a struggle that she was just coming through. A series of life changes…the marriage of a son, another off to college and a death in the family…had lead her into a dark cloud for a time. A place where many of us have been at some time or another – and some for longer periods of time than others. As she shared, there was a sense of hope and victory in her tone. She was coming out the other side of that dark place and she was victorious! Praise the Lord! What a monumental victory!

She also has chronic health issues that prevent her from being as mobile and active as she would like. (Let me tell you…if that body could keep up with her spirit and her heart she’d blaze quite a trail!) She was up and moving around the house…and dusting. That may seem like a small victory to some. For her, it was another large victory.

Victory comes in many forms. It’s not always the conquest of a town by the sword. But, none the less…ALL victories – large and small- come from the Lord God Almighty …by the light of His face. I firmly believe that she is the reason that God placed Psalm 44 in my path that very morning. It is not by our own bow or sword …not by our wit or might…not by our efforts or plans that we are succeed or conquer or emerge victorious. It is 100% by God’s merciful hand so that we may praise His name and give a testimony of his power, mercy and grace.

I am so thankful that she shared her struggle and victory with me that day. Glory to God.

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