This is the year I want to write about all the wonderful miracles God has done in my life. This morning I was reminded of one of those wonderful miracles. I had the same experience as King David, the psalmist.
Psalm 40:1-3 NIV
1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
The year was 1993. It had been almost five years since we arrived in our “new” country, the United States of America—five years of struggles to adjust to the new culture, five years of financial strain as we had never experienced before. We were four adults living on my sole income, because I was the only one that received a work permit.
It might not have been so bad had we all been healthy, but our oldest daughter had cystic fibrosis and many complications derived from that condition. All the miracles God did on her behalf merit a book of its own, which I have wanted to write, and which Eva-Marie and I wanted to write together but never had the time to do. Why didn’t you take the time? you might ask. You’re right! Why didn’t I? The only excuse I have is that life was full of work, work to keep up with daily expenses and all the medical bills. For many years I felt like all I did was work for doctors and hospitals! It’s easy to get that feeling when bills upon bills pile up!
Last night I found the stack of materials I have collected for that book, and hopefully one day I will write it. I’ve found many “treasures” this week. To fulfill the writing assignment I have laid upon myself for this year, there has to be some organization. I have redone my office to accommodate everything that I have collected over the years for this very purpose—to write! I have several file cabinets full of letters and articles that will assist me in telling the story of God’s miracles in my life.
I thought about it the other day, that it was a good thing my husband was very understanding in letting me collect all the things I’ve collected. Here’s a funny story: We traveled a lot. We moved from Peru to Sweden, from Sweden back to Peru, from Peru back to Sweden again, from Sweden to Peru, from Peru to Bolivia, from Bolivia to the USA, and in the USA from Florida to Colorado, from Colorado to Missouri… Every time he would get his little box of collectables together and say, “I’m done! I’m packed! The rest is your stuff!” Most of it was “our” stuff, but he was happy turning it all over to me. In the end it’s become all mine, since he left for Heaven before me. I still have the box that contains his memories. How I wish he was here, and not only the box!
I got sidetracked. This blog was going to be about the New Song, and it will be. I’m getting there. Many, many tears were shed during those first years. It was a culture shock to come from South America to this country. We were all in agreement to come here, but it was hard for us to adjust, especially for the girls, in their late teens and early twenties.
Then, one morning in 1993, I read Psalm 40. I connected with King David, and God brought the same experience to me. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God! I have no words to describe the feeling, other than to say that I had this bubbly fountain inside. On January 14 that year, I wrote in my journal: “I want to thank you, Lord, for the new song you have put in my heart: A SONG OF PRAISE. Ever since the new year it’s just bubbling inside of me. I could not have done this myself, but you have given me the song. Help me to keep it alive.”
Way back in my teen years we used to sing, “There is a new song in my heart and its melody is ringing…” Some of you might remember that song. What a beautiful song!
This might not sound to you like a miracle, but the turn-around that experience had in my life is nothing short of a miracle! Did my circumstances change? No! Did all the medical bills disappear as by magic? Never! Did I get a substantial raise in salary? Not in a million years! But the new song in my heart changed my attitude. The song of praise to God helped me overcome the sadness of our dire circumstances.
Years later, in 2003, I was heavy burdened with financial worries. I had forgotten the song! A friend of mine, at a women’s prayer meeting, prayed for this situation. It was hard. Two years earlier I had lost my job and we were living on translation jobs I could come across. My husband’s income as a transporter with a regional hospital was not stable. This friend prayed that God would solve our problems and that I NEVER AGAIN have financial worries. Never again have I had those worries! In another blog, later on, I will tell of the miracle of getting my job back, very shortly after this prayer. This woman had a connection with God we all can have! It’s been twelve years since she got an answer to that prayer! Is was my friend Susie!
The song of praise still bubbles in my heart. I wish that if you have worries and anxieties, you could have the same experience. God is the same! What He’s done for others He can do for you and me. Maybe it has to do with our approach, with our trust, with handing our worries over to Him, like the promise in 1 Peter 5:7, to cast all our worries on Him, because He cares for us!
I pray that God will put a new song in your heart, that you can begin this new year with the miracle of praise instead of worry, joy instead of mourning “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair,” like the prophet Isaiah writes.
“Holy Spirit, I pray for each one of my readers, because you know their hearts. I pray that 2015 be a year of transformation, a year of abundant mercy and grace, a year when morning turns into laughter and sadness turns into joy. May your power overwhelm them, with renewal, recharging and refreshing…”