“There are times in life when we’re left stranded and are seemingly all alone, and as the wolves begin to pick at the carcass of our given situation, we’re suddenly scooped up from their midst...”
And this is certainly my experience. At the darkest time in my life, with lots of godly people about me, I was still so vulnerable. It appears as a distant memory, but it’s ever so real as I reflect, even now.
It was a time when I began to be courted by the devil manifest in one human being. And as there was such a presence of darkness imminently threatening, God—I’m sure now as I should’ve been then—placed another person in my midst who was attracted to a very virtuous quality I had right then—I was still in love with my then wife.
The process of being cared for by this dear friend, an angel in disguise, was instrumental in the resurrection life that I began to take on more fervently; more assuredly.
Looking back, I’m led to ask myself, ‘Why me; why did I receive such an especially generous measure of God’s mercy?’ (It was generous by my standards, but no more generous in reality than what’s given the next person in a similar situation.) The answer’s not that difficult to work out actually.
From the moment the dark night of my soul started I securely (and at times, insecurely) clung to God—I knew him well enough to know he was my only chance at survival; and there are many forms of that reality. In this mix of my desperation he smiled graciously on me, just as the psalmist says:
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.” –Psalm 51:17 (TNIV).
The point is, however, God takes his own holy pity on us when we genuinely reach out to him, broken-spirited and contrite of heart—genuinely sorry and repentant; he sends us help in human form. And he also pours his Spirit out upon us, often helping us cling to life by the skin of our very teeth.
These are the promises of God: we wait in our distresses—he surely comes—many times in precisely the ways we couldn’t even imagine. We hardly ever realise there are angels (in skin) everywhere!
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.