Sunday, October 13, 2019
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! (Psalm 100:1-2 ESV)
As I read this verse, I recall early August of 1987 when I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. I was emotionally numb awakening from surgery to this startling news.
The following day, after a sleepless night, a stirring turned me to a flicker deep within. I whispered, “Lord, help me. My eyes are upon you.”
I had a deep encounter with the Lord, who came gently with his still small voice. He had to reveal to me what I was feeling. Each emotion was addressed and counsel given. I later realized that He had personally taken me through the first part of Scripture’s 2 Chronicles 20. Therein, Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah are awaiting enemy armies that totally outnumber them. Feeling powerless, they turn to the Lord for help.
He tells them not to be afraid:
“For the battle is not yours, but God’s . . . You will not have to fight this battle . . . stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you . . . Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:15, 17)
I relaxed knowing I could confidently face my overwhelming enemy.
The rest of that Scripture has Jehoshaphat instructing his people to go forth to meet the armies, singing praises to God. This became my stance during my months of chemotherapy treatments.
The people of Judah and I experienced victory over a beaten foe.
As to the above psalm’s verses? I came to recognize more deeply that I serve a faithful God. He continues to uphold me as I face challenges, some lasting years beyond the cancer diagnosis and triumph.
He reminds me very often that the enemy is beaten. I am not.
He is worthy to be served and praised. He first served me as Savior. Now I serve him with a spirit of joy, gladness, and song because He has shown me that is how one celebrates knowing the Lord is the One securing the victories.
Lord, help me continue to make a joyful noise, praising you. Your faithfulness is known, received, cherished, and everlasting. Amen.
(The photo you view here shows images of my guitar and the rockingchair that graced my classroom for nearly 20 years. It is where I’d sit and strum and sing with my students. That school years of 1987-88 we took a lot of singing breaks as they became prayer times for me ‘going out to meet the foe’ with my angel choir right in front!!)