Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

‘Many Will See… And Be Amazed’

I’m in Marseille right now meeting with my team-mates and unexpectedly found myself with a free morning so, since I’m leading Prayers on Friday, I thought it would be a good time to prepare.  And now I’m excited about God’s wonderfulness so I thought I’d share it with you.

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He has set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what He has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40:1-3 (New Living Translation)

Do you feel bogged down with life just now?  Are your circumstances difficult?  Are you stuck in some temptation or situation that you know is wrong and you don’t want to be caught in it but feel you have no power to help yourself?  Are you at the end of your tether?

I have good news.  Jesus specialises in breaking the power of temptation (He really does!), cleaning up horrendous messes, and rescuing hopeless situations.  When we’re at the end of ourselves, all we have to do is tell Him that we need Him and ask Him to rescue us.  And He does.  He is able to forgive, and provide us with a new heart and a positive outlook on life.  He makes everything new, bringing healing and wholeness, as He gradually changes us from the inside out.  The more we understand – really comprehend – what He has done for us, the more we want to sing and praise Him out of a heart overflowing with thankfulness.  And people around us will notice, and want to know why we are different.  They will be attracted to the Jesus they see in us.

Let me show you how this was mirrored in my life a couple of years ago.  As you know, I had a debilitating illness – cerebellar ataxia and chronic fatigue – which meant that most days my brain and mind were exhausted and I had no strength in my body.  I was constantly dizzy, and could only walk by slowly shuffling along, lurching unsteadily from side-to-side.  It felt as though I was drowning in the mud and mire of excessive weakness and confusion.  My body was in a terrible state, some days every ounce of energy and concentration went on simply breathing – in… pause, out… pause, in… pause, out… – and I knew I was in the valley of the shadow.  But praise God, He healed me!  It felt very much as though He had set me on solid ground and steadied me as a I walked along – literally! – by taking away the vertigo and infusing my body with strength.  I soon discovered the power of praising Him (not for nothing did the songwriter pen those words:  ‘His praise shall be our battle cry’).  I felt as if I’d been made new in some way from the illness, and I had a new song to sing of praise to God-my-Healer.  As I tell my story, and as people have witnessed the change His healing power has wrought in my life, they are amazed and built up in their faith.  My prayer is that through my story of the wonderful things Jesus has done for me, many will put their trust in Him.

For me, my healing is a picture of salvation.  I was bogged down by the mud and mire of selfishness and pride, in the desperate pit of wanting my own way and of ignoring God.  I couldn’t do anything to help myself.  When I realised I needed someone to rescue me from that, I prayed to Jesus.  He is the only one who can save and bring us into relationship with God.  He forgave my sin, and kept a careful watch on me as I learned to live with Him as my boss.  He keeps me on the right path and hoiks me back when I stray.  The more I understand of what He has done, the more I praise Him out of a deeply grateful heart.  And I trust that my joy spills out so that others notice it and want to know the Source of my joy.

How about you?  If you feel like you’re weighed down by the cares and responsibilities of life, in the pit of despair, tell Jesus about it.  He can and He will help you.  If you’d like me to pray for you, then please leave a comment on this post or contact me using the ‘contact’ page and I will be happy to do so.

2 Comments

  1. So encouraging to read Mandy! Thank you for sharing this xx

    • Mandy

      22/11/2012 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks Megan, glad you’re encouraged. I’ve planned a mini-series on this Psalm, so be sure to look out for future posts! Blessings x

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