Singing a New Song in a Hard Season

For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble." - Psalm 143:11

It had been a challenging Tuesday. Good healthy wrestling at work on some future planning, the anticipation of Awake and Alive 2024, the concern about a big snow storm, an encouragement from a 14 year old... and then the text. "Prayers for Adam please, he is very sick". Many of you know Adam and have followed this journey, but that text was from the ER where he had been diagnosed with Strep, the Flu, Double Pneumonia, partial kidney failure and Sepsis.

For the next 4 days he was in and out of consciousness as the Doctors tried to help his body clear the illnesses and keep him calm. It wound up being a 2 week hospital stay including a tube in one of his lungs. This past Monday he started part time hours at work as he slowly works back. We are so grateful for the many prayers and encouragements that we have received as a family and Adam passes along his thanks for him and his wife Rose.

The day before all this went down I had been on a slow read through the book of Psalms and came to Psalm 143. It was the psalm I read to him that first night in the hospital, the night after he had the tube put in and as he left the hospital. It seemed as though we were living in the reality of the psalmist, with fear and with hope. God's word, for such a time as this:


1 Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. 2 Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you. 3 The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead. 4 So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. 5 I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. 6 I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.

7 Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. 8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. 9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you. 10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

11 For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. 12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I know many of you have had seasons like this where we pray prayers like - "Rescue", "Bring Me Word", "Preserve my Life", "Bring me out of Trouble"... Our phrase for Melissa and I was "Serve and Survive" All of these were prayers we kept saying over and over as we watched the struggle play out and yet I was surprised at the calm we experienced in our soul, even when our hearts were shaking.

As we considered God's faithfulness, I thought back to Abraham and God's command to sacrifice Isaac. I don't have that kind of faith, but something about Abraham's trust in both the good plans of God and the hard "ask" that God was making of him. That in a way, he had to have been fearful, confused, frustrated and yet at peace, trusting that God could raise Isaac even if Abraham had followed through and not been stopped (See Hebrews 11). I wasn't being asked to sacrifice my son, but in many ways I was being asked to wrestle with God's faithfulness, trusting God to work in my family's life in a way that I had never been asked before. This psalm became our prayer and our comfort and a song that I had written just a few months earlier became the refrain.

Hallelujah, to Him who gives us life
Our redemption, Jesus sacrifice
Before his throne all crowns will fall
My time, my gifts, my life, my all
In the end he takes it all away
Let Jesus be all that Remains.

In all 4 Gospels, this Bible passage appears from Jesus own lips. "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it."

So I give up plans for My kingdom and trust in the one Jesus came to establish. In this truth, we have great hope. In confident faith we can say with the psalmist" 11 For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. 12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

Peace be with you friend! Mike

P.S. - Adam is in recovery mode. It will likely take till sometime in April for him to get his stamina back and up to a year for his lungs to fully heal. Appointments still to be had to determine how things are really progressing, but so far it has been slowly better each week. He's back to part time work this week and possibly next and will see how his strength continues to improve. Thank you for your prayers for him and the fam! We appreciate you!

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