John Paton–Deliverance?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When you go through the trials and tribulations illness, especially serious illness, are you sure that God will get you through it no matter what the outcome? Or, on the other hand, are you simply asking to be spared the experience? You know, giving you the outcome he wants for you?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

Having recently passed through the fire of heart failure diagnosis, surgery, treatment and recovery, I know what it is like to journey into the darkness and come out in the light. I remember getting the diagnosis and feeling totally emptied of all feeling. Was I going to die? I’ve gone through major surgery before, but now they were going to stop my heart? What would that be like? The thought of cardiac rehab therapy was troubling. I was used to taking medications, but would there be new ones? I turned to God in prayer. I started and then hesitated. What did I really want God to do? I wanted to ask God to DO something. Did I want Him to save me from heart disease? I thought about that for a moment. Saving me implied being released from all the things that bothered me. Was I asking him to allow me to skip the surgeries, the many invasive cardiacs tests and the recovery altogether? That sounded good, but it also sounded a bit unrealistic, even selfish. No, I thought. I guess I just want to get through it Lord and live to tell about it.

Although I knew that God could save me if he wanted to, I was sure that he would get me through it no matter what the outcome. He did. I guess you could say he delivered me to the outcome He wanted for me. Things happened and I was able to get through them. Saving would have been cleaner, easier, but deliverance, although less fun and a whole lot more inconvenient, was, in retrospect, a beneficial experience.

Here’s a story: John Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mis- sion station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, "Who were all those men with you there?" Paton knew no men were present–but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station. (Today in the Word, October, 1991, p. 1.)

Like the Patons, asking God to save us OUT of the sorrows and troubles of this life makes more sense. They braved the night, the place where the trouble held out and threatened them. They were, in this sense, not saved FROM the dangers. They made it past them as I made it past cancer and now heart disease. God saved me OUT of both, not from them. Sorrows and dangers will continue to come in our lives. Asking to be saved FROM them makes no sense. These things have their merit and God knows they benefit us. The best we can hope for is deliverance. We ought to pray for nothing else.

We pray. Heavenly Father, this world is hard. It threatens to crush us in many ways. Physically, we cannot always outrun the ailments of our bodies. Sickness and injury take hold of us, and we are not always healed to the original state of our health. Bring our hearts to focus on your truth at the start of each day, expecting a battle, but also deliverance. Father, in overwhelming moments help us to recall that, “You are my hiding place; you will protect us from trouble and surround us with songs of deliverance.” Remind us of the greats of faith, like the Patons, that have gone before us in bravery, with courageous faith in your protective hand of deliverance.. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to "This Passing Day!"

<> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.

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