Psalm 34: 4-5 (NLT)
I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

A Psalm for the Ages
Janet Murdock

Have you ever experienced a time in your life when a promise was made to you? Perhaps you were filled with hope that your future would be secure. But after some time, you learn that that very promise was broken? When promises are broken no doubt, you will experience the hurt of being let down and even betrayed. But with God, he always keeps his promise to answer our prayers.
It is in the Psalms that we learn about King David’s inner most thoughts – his anguish, his fears, and even his triumphs. Though the Psalms were written thousands of years ago, there seems to be a certain connection between the life of David that resonates with what we experience in our own lives today. It is no wonder throughout the ages, those who are suffering, who are depressed or are in dire need of Gods help, look to the Psalms, searching for some solace in their lives.
It is not exactly clear how much time had elapsed between when David prayed to God to rescue him, and when God finally did answer his prayer. Because in real time, God does not always answer our prayers in a timely fashion. And sometimes when God does answer our prayers, it is not quite the way we may have envisioned it to be. But, he does answer our prayers.
There was a time in my life when I was 23 years old, that I was a single mom with three small children. I had no good future to offer them. I was a high school dropout, I didn’t have any skills to get a job, I hadn’t even learned how to drive a car. Being down on my luck, I sought the help from a family member who agreed to take me and my children into their home. They promised me I could stay for however long it would take, no matter what, until I could get on my feet.
Knowing I had quite the challenge before me, I immediately began to make my best effort. After earning my GED, I sought their advice on what I should do next. But to my surprise they refused to give me any more help, claiming I was taking advantage of them. When in my heart, I was simply taking advantage of a golden opportunity.
I had no idea what I was going to do next. What was to become of my life, and the future I so longed to give to my children? All was loss. But most of all, a promise was broken!
I had been raised in church, and I knew that when you are in trouble, to pray to God for help. So that is what I did. Suddenly, I felt a strange calmness come over me. I wiped my tears and picked up the phone to call a friend of the family. I only intended to call her for some kind of comfort. But when she answered her phone, I could hardly believe the words that came out of my mouth. I asked if she would help me find a Christian home for my children. She agreed, and two weeks later I took my children to live with their new adoptive parents.
Honestly, it was not the answer I was hoping for. And for a long period of time I was depressed, feeling guilty for giving up my children. I eventually sought counseling to help me come to terms. But, it wasn’t until I was shown the verses in Psalm 34: 4-5, that God’s word spoke to my heart.
What the Lord taught me was this. The calmness I had experienced that day, was his way of embracing me, covering me with his peace. God will always come through at the right time, … “those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.”
So, why does God allow us to experience the pain of waiting, or depression or great sorrow? I believe that our loving father merely wants us to see that he is in control. He does not want to hurt us, but instead, he wants to build up our character, so that we will become faithful to him, as he is towards us. I’m sure David also learned through experience, that while going through the trenches with God, his faith was strengthened, as he then developed a heart for God.
As for myself, I thank God he loved my children more than me. I thank God for the adoptive parents he chose, and for giving me the opportunity to see my children grow into such wonderful adults. They are now married and together are raising their children to know Jesus. Now, I too can sing this psalm; I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

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