83/365 days of blogging.
On September 15, 1993, the day after my daughter passed away, I met with the minister that would preach at her funeral. He asked me what Bible verses I wanted him to touch on at her funeral. Did she have a favorite verse? Was there a story that she especially liked? I knew that Micah loved the Lord more than anything, but wasn’t really sure what story or verse to pick.
That night I went to bed and finally was able to get a little bit of sleep. I was awakened at 2:30 in the morning, by a voice that I can explain no other way but to say it was God speaking to me. He told me that I was to tell the pastor to preach on psalm 116. I immediately got out of bed and looked it up.
I love the Lord, because He has heard
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.
The pains of death surrounded me,
And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me;
I found trouble and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!”
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Yes, our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.
I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.
I believed, therefore I spoke,
“I am greatly afflicted.”
I said in my haste,
“All men are liars.”
What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me?
I will take up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His saints.
O Lord, truly I am Your servant;
I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant;
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And will call upon the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people,
In the courts of the Lord’s house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
I knew exactly why the Lord chose this psalm. Eight weeks before she died, at Vacation Bible School, my little girl walked down the center aisle and gave her life to Jesus. She was 5 years old. After the session that night she marched down the aisle again and went to the pastors office and asked “When are you going to baptize me?” I was sure this was the reason and I went to the church the next day to tell him just that.
Nineteen years later, there is a very different reason that God has revealed to me as to why He chose this psalm. It really didn’t have anything to do with her but more to do with me. God was working even then in my life and I didn’t even know it. Oh I was doing all the things I was “supposed” to be doing…but none of them were of His will.
So here is my take on psalm 116 in my life today.
god is so responsive that you can always reach Him. He bends down and listens to your voice when you speak. This writer’s love for the Lord had grown because he had experienced answers to his prayers. When we are discouraged, we need to remember that God is near, listening carefully to every prayer and answering each prayer in order to give you His best, according to His will. He is close to us even in death. When someone we love is nearing death, we may become angry and feel abandoned. But believers are precious to God, and He carefully chooses the time when they will be called into His presence. This truth gave me comfort after she died. Her life was valuable to Him. More valuable to him than she was to me. After all, aren’t our children on loan to us? Didn’t God give them to us to care for and raise so they could learn about Him and someday return to His loving care.
This psalm over recent years has become my favorite psalm. I have a letter in my Bible, that is just scribbles with the only thing being legible is a simple M I C A H. It is an index card and both sides are filled. When she gave it to me she said “Put this in your Bible mommy, You just can’t put it anywhere, you have to pick a special place.” Well guess where it is. You guessed it! right in the middle of psalm 116, along with a lock of her hair. 🙂 When I asked her what it was, she said “It is my letter to God.”
I can’t wait to get to heaven so she can tell me what it says.