Today you get to read along with the ladies at the CNY Wesleyan Women ladies retreat. We chose this beautiful piece for Sunday’s devotional, and I love its heart. Thank you, Kirsten, for sharing and encouraging us to approach God boldly. When we call… He answers.
Bold to Approach
Worship music wafts into the foyer. My husband Dan strides toward the empty seats in the front, bold as brass. I fumble with coat and purse, eyes toward the lyrics on the screen. New song this morning. The music team circles back to the first verse. Pretty, but really simple. Sometimes I struggle to enter praise because my musician’s brain is analyzing. Then the chorus begins: “I called. You answered…”
Dan turns to look at me as a gasping sob explodes from my throat. “Are you all right?”
I grab his hand. “He answered. He answered. I called and He answered.”
“O… kay. Do you need a tissue or some water or something?”
Earlier that year, I had shuffled into the kitchen, sleepless in the night, to make a cup of herbal tea to soothe my tight throat and aching chest. I picked up the battered red kettle, then slid to the floor.
My kitchen floor was not something nice to sit on. When we bought the house, it was one of the things we planned to replace right away. It was poorly installed vinyl peel-and-stick, cracked and stained. The jaundiced yellow never got really clean. The ensuing 15 years had not improved it.
Crumpled on that hateful floor, I wondered if darkness could win. My 16-year-old son was ill, devastated by Bipolar Disorder. He might need to live in a treatment facility. I didn’t bother with piety or coherence. Prayer heaved out of me, dripping hot down my chin.
“Don’t do this. Please don’t. You say You love me. Please don’t do this to me.” I thought I was asking for Nicholas to not have to be sent away, but it was bigger. Please don’t shatter me. Please don’t abandon me to the darkness.
“I trust You. But I hurt, oh Jesus, I hurt. Help.”
I didn’t know that my son was already on the path to stability and ten months later the picture would be completely different. I couldn’t imagine the healing and deliverance God would pour into my wounded heart.
But I knew my God. I didn’t need to pray “right.” I just crawled into His lap, battered, but having “boldness and confident access through faith in Him.” (Ephesians 3:12) The Greek word Paul uses for “bold” refers to freedom and courage in speech. I can say anything to my God.
The psalmist uses a Hebrew word for “bold” even more intense. It means to urge, to importune. I can be impassioned with my God.
“On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.” (Psalms 138:3)
I might hesitate to walk to the front row, announcing to everyone I’m late for church again. But I will never hesitate to cry out boldly to God.
I sing the simple melody loud, tears streaming, clutching my husband’s hand.
“I called. You answered…”