the privilege of marrying her prince a year and a half ago and they’ve been
honeymooning ever since! Alyssa blogs quietly and occasionally over at Joy Unspeakable. Her goal there is to serve, to encourage, and to continually point others to Christ.
most Psalms, is a song of worship, praise, and thanksgiving for Israel’s
deliverance. However, unlike most Psalms, this one immediately brings
us into one of the darkest thoughts that there is. Something that most
of the world faces every single day, even if they don’t know it.
“If the Lord had not been on our side…”
What if God did not come through?
What if there was no hope?
As someone who grew up in a Christian home and accepted the free gift of salvation at a very young age, this thought is rather foreign to me. But when I dive down deep into those dark waters, I come up for air with a renewed sense of worship. And I bask in the warmth of His love as I float in the ocean of His grace. Because it is His grace alone that can carry me and lift me up.
But what if?
Luke and I have been married for a year and a half. They say the first year is the hardest, but God intended to use our engagement year to test out commitment instead.
In February 2012, Luke was diagnosed with Guillian Barré Syndrome – just ten months before our wedding. GBS is an auto-immune disease that left him unable to walk – just ten months before I was meant to walk the aisle. With no guarantees of a full recovery, I remember pushing him in a wheelchair down the halls of the church and wondering if I would be doing that the rest of our lives. I remember pushing him through the doors, and past the seats, and right up to the altar. And it was there that He pushed me. Pushed me to give up my plans and intentions and to allow our future marriage to be a sweet smelling sacrifice to Him who makes all things new – even legs. And I breathed in deep because it is His grace alone that is sufficient for me.
But what if?
I literally cannot imagine that season of our lives without the Living God. “If the Lord had not been on our side…” where would we have been? Verses 4 and 5 tell us exactly where we would have been. “If the Lord had not been on our side… the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away.”
There’s a song that says “if His grace is an ocean we’re all sinking.” But what if His grace is a lifeboat? Then? Then everyone else is sinking.
There are far too many who have to face the “what if” every day. No Lord. No hope. No lifeboat. Just the flood, the torrent, and the raging waters. And the sinking.
But what if we allowed ourselves to be used? To reach for those who are sinking and show them the Way to join us in the lifeboats?
After many months of praying and seeking, combined with some intense physical therapy sessions, Luke was once again on his feet and running the race marked out for him. May we all run our race with passion. And if we grow weary, may we fall on His grace. Because it is His grace alone that can catch us in spite of our shortcomings.
He will step in the gap – between our reaching arms and the sinking souls.
But first we have to reach.
1. Reread Psalm 124, focus on verse 8. How has God specifically helped you?
2. Read and reflect on Acts 17:24-28 and 2 Peter 3:9.
3. Take a few minutes to pause and pray for those you know who are sinking in sin, without hope. In love and truth, let’s lift them up and pray that they receive the life-giving help of the Savior.
Holly Barrett says
What a beautiful post, Alyssa! Thanks for sharing your journey to accepting God's graciousness, no matter your life circumstance.
Thank you, Holly! It was a challenging and beautiful time for us. But on the other side of a trial, there is always a testimony! 🙂
Jen Mullen says
I love your transparency! Beautiful!
Thank you, Jen! I always get a little self-conscious when I get transparent. I appreciate your kind words! 🙂
This speaks to my heart today as God is teaching my husband and I that HE is not giving us an option of either or. Rather He is guiding us down a path of full dependence upon HIM. A path of YES-AND. Thank you for sharing today's Psalm.
Thank you for sharing a beautiful story of a time of testing. My husband and I had a time of testing even before we dated, and have been grateful for going through that before we made a covenant before the Lord, and those vows have surely been tested as will yours, but you have been strengthened by this experience so you will be able to persevere. If it is necessary, you would be able to push a wheelchair every day, because your help is in the Lord.