Meditations by John Dean

Monday, September 1, 2014

Defining Moments

(Psalms 116:8 Message) Soul, you've been rescued from death; Eye, you've been rescued from tears; And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling."

I would normally be quoting from the New King James version or one of the other great translations of the Bible. However, today I am taking our text from the Message because I like the way it reads, even though it is not a translation. I suppose the reason I like it is because it reads the way I speak.

I have always experienced a deep level of peace and comfort while reading our text because it reminds me that all the promises in it are “past tense.” In other words, we have already been delivered from “death, tears and stumbling” even before they occur. However, for us to enjoy the benefits of this freedom we need to confess that we have already been “rescued” as our text has demonstrated.

If one has not digested the truth of these promises in their “spirit man,” then their “natural man” will not allow them to live in the victory of them. As a result, there is no actual separation between one’s painful past and their present joy. That means the outworking of such an arrangement is that one goes through life defeated and scared one moment and joyous and seemingly full of faith the next moment. The problem is…when they face life’s tests this type of joy and faith usually proves to be superficial because they continue to live with sub-par confidence.

In cases like this their identity is usually in their difficult past rather than in their present freedom. Their usual tendency is to relive their past, being defensive when crossed and yielding to a quick temper and a destructive tongue.

Many wonderful Christians suffer from this dichotomy even though they may have experienced several “defining moments” of deliverance by the Lord. In many cases they actually feel more worthy of the pain of the past than they do of the freedom for the present in spite of those “defining moments” of deliverance.

I have come to the conclusion that each of us has experienced many “defining moments” simply because the Lord loves us. These “defining moments” of the Lord not only deal with one’s troubled past, but they often deal with delivering one’s physical body as well.

I was talking to my wife the other day about “defining moments” and she shared a story with me that I had never heard before.

When she and her sister were young girls they decided to go water skiing. They were both being pulled behind the same ski boat and apparently doing well until my wife got scared and turned loose of her rope. As a result, the ski rope wrapped around her sister’s leg causing her to lose her balance and fall into the water. The driver of the boat was not immediately aware of it therefore my wife’s sister was pulled under water for a short distance.

That was a “defining moment” in the lives of both my wife and her sister. Her sister could have drowned, which meant that my wife would have had to live the rest of her life with the guilt of turning loose of the ski rope. However, God in His mercy saved both girls.

The point of this Meditation is to make us aware that we are never alone even though sometimes we may feel like it. We would also do well living a life of thankfulness for all those wonderful “defining moments” of deliverance, rather than refueling our painful past by continuing to talk about it.

Teach us how to confess our text, “Soul, you've been rescued from death; Eye, you've been rescued from tears; and you, Foot, you were kept from stumbling.”


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