When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt – out of slavery, their pit of despair – they rejoiced.
“The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation,” they cried (Exodus 15:2). Their Almighty God had delivered them from the enemy’s hands, and then he destroyed the enemy altogether in the crashing waves of the Red Sea.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks. Often, it can seem like there is hardly time to breathe, let alone do the laundry, keep the apartment clean, get a decent amount of sleep and – the long stretch – invest in some good reading. Such is the crazy busy life, right? Or so it can seem. My guess is that you feel it as well during certain unavoidable, but grace-saturated seasons.
Amidst such discouragement, the worship of the Israelites has been on my mind:
The Lord is my strength. I am weak. Apart from Christ’s saving mercies, I would be dead, with no ability to save myself. I like to think I am strong, capable, and sometimes even Wonder Woman, as I fly about the house on a bum foot, attempting to vaccum and clean when my body is telling me to stop and rest. Our culture piggy-backs on this (because hey, we’re all made of the same stuff, aren’t we?) and declares that, with enough gusto and perseverance, we can do anything we set our minds to do.
Not so. I am weak. I grow tired and weary. But 24 hours in a day is enough for me, and it is all that God ordained should be entrusted to us for such a time as this. But the Lord is our strength! He never grows weak or weary, never gets tired or exhausted, and never sleeps. Can you imagine never sleeping? (The thought makes me shudder!) But the Almighty God, in his great wisdom, planned the salvation of his chosen ones from before time began, sending Jesus Christ to be my strength, to be your strength. So stop believing you need to have it all together. You don’t. Christ died knowing that it would mean raising dead sinners to life, not because they were strong and deserved it, but because he is strong and chose to save.
The Lord is my song. If I’m being honest, the last thing I want to do when I’m discouraged is worship the Lord and thank him. It’s almost as if I believe thankfulness takes more energy than complaining! While that might not be true in the physical sense – words are words – I can see why celebrating the gospel takes our mental energy, our focus, and a heartfelt decision to obey. I must choose worship. I must choose praise. I must choose to dwell in the joy of my salvation purchased for me by the blood of Christ. But, all the same, the reason for my singing never changes: the Lord and Savior of the universe lives and reigns on high! He is our song.
The Lord has become my salvation. I confess that my wayward heart can see the gospel as something seemingly daily. It’s not. It’s a miracle. Wake up, o my soul! Bless the Lord, o my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name! What God has done for us in Jesus Christ is absolutely stunning. The God of all creation, the God who had a right to stay put, away from sinful men, made himself known in the person of Christ. And not only that – he didn’t just leave behind a few nice sayings and teachings and say, “Fend for yourselves now” – he served us by laying down his very life’s blood. The High God gave himself to save lowly us. Wow.
When days of discouragement come, I want to be like the Israelites who saw the magnificent salvation from the Lord and sang to him! I want to see so clearly how the enemy is slain, how my victorious Christ is on my side. I want to celebrate in the miracle of the gospel.
When you’re discouraged, gaze upon the miracle that is your salvation.