What’s your weakness? I often get to visit with girls face to face or through messages about this as they pick out the items they want to give or wear. This one comes up a lot... fear. And I can SO relate. I walked though a season of deep fear that became debilitating for a time.
I remember days when I sat in my car and cried before going into stores. I disconnected from every bit of relational engagement to avoid scary situations, and I unplugged from church, work, ministry, and even family. It lead to emotional and physical heaviness, isolation, anxiety,... you name it. Fear was the strongest weakness I had ever faced.
So what happened?
I wish I could say that I prayed once and God removed every trace of it, but He didn’t. Instead, I prayed and read and journaled and saw a counselor... over and over again. And the Lord did EXACTLY what David describes in Psalm 116:16, “He loosened my bonds.”
At first, loosening looked like simply recognizing my weakness. Calling it out as the Lord gave me insight. Then it began to feel and look different through the lens of scriptural truth that God gave me to specifically encourage and strengthen me to live. And I pressed in. After some time, loosening was then the open arms of precious people that God interjected into my life with grace and purpose. So I carefully took their hands. And as my walk continued, I realized that the bonds were so loose that it was time to slip out of them... GLORY!
The way God works is merciful, perfect, and good. He knows what we need to heal well and how to bring that about in each of our souls as He sustains us through our struggles.
Am I tempted to put the bonds of fear back on? Yep. Satan keeps trying. But God is stronger. There’s no doubt in my mind that the appropriate verse to follow 16 with is “I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.” (v17)
Thanksgiving can look very different to us in the changing seasons of life. And this year, I’m offering thanks for the loosening of bonds by King Jesus and even for the very weakness that lead me to desperate dependence on Him.
“Return to rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” (v7)