I can't remember exactly which commercial it was, but I remember laughing out loud because it was so unbelievable.
Now I have to admit that I am a skeptic when it comes to most commercials.
I often think that they make promises which I am quite sure they can't keep.
We have just read Psalm 91 which promises, according to verse 12, that the person who follows God won't even stub their toe.
I am quite sure that even the most faithful followers of God sometimes stub their toe.
At a meeting not too long ago, someone read this Psalm as a word of encouragement during the opening.
After it was read, we had an opportunity to respond and someone asked the question, "Is this to be taken literally?"
This is the word of God, so we don't even want to ask that question, but as we read it we can't help recognizing that certain phrases in this Psalm don't seem, to line up with our life.
Is this Psalm like commercials – interesting, but not real?
How do we read the promises made in this Psalm?
To help us think about this, I have asked Kristen, our daughter, to share with you her story.
I. Kristen's Story
“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life; give you a long drink of salvation!”
(Psalm 91: 14 – 16 The Message)
So what the exactly does that mean?
Does it mean that we’ll never suffer?
Never be in pain?
Never come to any harm at all?
We know that God can always protect everyone.
We know that He has sometimes protected many.
We know that He will often protect some.
We also know that God is sovereign and wise, not always choosing to do all of that which He is able to do.
As I think back on my life, I see very clear examples of times when there was trouble, and when God was there with me through it.
I would like to share with you a part of my life.
It’s not necessarily a pretty part, or an easy thing to share.
But I truly believe that God has been urging me to share my life…to show the areas where He can be so clearly seen…especially through the times of trouble….to
use my life to encourage others, and to show God’s incredibly glory.
So here we go!
My life growing up was in many ways idyllic.
My parents loved each other and they cared deeply for me and my two brothers.
I was the middle child, and the only girl.
When I was born, my dad was so stoked that he ran up and down the hospital hallways telling anyone who would listen that he had a baby girl.
I was loved.
We grew up in a small town called Cartwright.
Now, I’m talking small…like a few hundred people small.
My dad was the pastor of a nearby church.
I grew up loving God, and LOVING people.
I would spend lots of time visiting all of my neighbours.
Like the neighbour who lived behind our house…Mrs.
Thompson and her dog Ruffles.
She was probably around 70 years old, and I would go and sit in her kitchen and chat with her for as long as she’d listen.
I was very social and loved to be around people.
We were not rich growing up….we had everything we needed, but we didn’t have all the latest toys.
Instead, my dad made us a lot of toys….a
play kitchen…a toy box, a wooden train…a marble roller…lots of fun.
But there was one neighbour that had toys….get
this….FROM THE STORE.
Barbies and Barbie houses and Barbie pools….
Everything a little girl of 5 years old could want.
I spent quite a bit of time over there playing.
Things unfortunately didn’t go as I had expected.
Over time, this person abused my sweetness…stole it from me.
Without going into all sorts of details…this person abused me over a span of time.
Nobody knew…if I told anyone, I might not get to play with the cool toys anymore.
And I might get that person in trouble.
And even worse, I might get in trouble and would probably disappoint my parents.
These are all very scary consequences for a 5 year old.
I don’t believe I knew how wrong it was at the time, but it absolutely changed me.
It affected my little character.
I can’t exactly remember time frames etc., but I know that it for sure ended when we moved to Manitou when I was going into Grade 3. Now, the brain is a fascinating thing.
I managed to shove all that trauma into a little box and tuck it away.
I didn’t remember it for many years and had a great time growing up in Manitou.
It was another small town…around 900 people, but bigger than Cartwright.
When I was around 11 years old, I had a dream.
I believe that God has been speaking to me in dreams for most of my life.
It’s probably because that’s the only time that I’m quiet enough to listen.
I’d like to tell you about this dream.
I had a great friend growing up in Manitou named Sherri.
In the dream, Sherri and I were living in a house in BC.
This house was beautiful…it overlooked the mountains and there was a small stream wending it’s way along the bottom.
There were tons of glass windows.
I remember that Sherri and I were going to be throwing a big party that we were extremely excited about.
I remember sitting on Jesus lap…now, you remember sitting on your parent’s lap as a child, and how there was always enough room.
Have you tried it recently?
Not so good…always falling off….just
Jesus lap was comfy.
It was big enough and I felt complete peace.
I told Jesus that I was scared, because I thought that Satan was coming to get me, and I didn’t know what to do about it.
Jesus told me that all I had to do was tell Satan that in Jesus name, he was to leave.
And then I had to shoot him with a bazooka….yes.
It’s still a dream.
So the party started and everyone is having a great time.
That’s when I notice Satan.
He’s all red and I notice something shiny that he’s holding behind his back.
It’s a knife.
He’s coming to get me…he’s going to kill me and take me away.
I’m yelling at him to get out of here.
To leave me alone.
He’s not leaving…he just keeps getting closer and closer….I’m terrified now.
That’s when I remember the bazooka.
I scream at him to get out of my house in Jesus name…then I pull the bazooka out of my pocket (obviously) and shoot him.
He turns into a big fiery ball, smashes out the window and is gone.
I’m sitting on Jesus lap again, and I’m crying.