Stace and Grace
Tomorrow, October 11, marks 15 years since Stacey Joy left us: her parents, her three-year-old daughter, her husband, his family, her four siblings, nieces, nephews, and more friends than I knew. How could 15 years go by without her bubbly presence when I didn’t even know how I’d live the next 15 minutes?
This morning my Bible reading brought me to Psalm 18, one of my favorites. I read again what happens when we pray—God hears, the earth trembles, the mountains shake, fire comes from His mouth, He parts the heavens and comes down, flying on the cherubim and soaring on the wind, His voice thundering from Heaven.
When Stacey died, I was not aware of trembling earth, shaking mountains, or breath of fire. Why did He not swoop down upon the cherubim, soar on the wind, and shoot arrows of lightning, as Psalm 18 claims?
Or did He?
When suffocating sorrow and paralyzing pain threatened to steal my next breath, God heard the words I could not utter and He parted the heavens and rescued me. When the earth trembled beneath me, I thought it was the presence of evil, but it was God’s voice banishing fear and accusations. God’s rebuke bared the lies and His arrows of lightning scattered the enemy. His grace invaded my being, my heart, my world—He routed despair and claimed residency. And I’ve been gleaning His grace ever since.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support. (v16-18)
For these 15 years, I’ve known God as described in Psalm 18’s opening verses. He is my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my refuge, my shield, my salvation, my stronghold, my tower—even when “the cords of death entangled me” and “torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.” Forever I will sing praises of His measureless grace!
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall. (v28-29)
*Sited in my book, I Was Broken, Too