Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "It Is Well With My Soul"1 (Lyrics)
From the ease of my recliner, my mind wanders to my childhood farm days and that exhilarating feeling of skipping through a wide-open green pasture on a summer day. I am reminded of that endless overhead expanse of sky, where I saw eagles freely soar. It is that feeling of freedom that I think of when I read David's words:
Psalm 18:19a – [The Lord] brought me out into a spacious place. (NIV)
Let's consider David's situation. Earlier in that same psalm, he wrote, "The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me." (Psalm 18:4 NIV) That sounds like the apostle Paul's situation, being "hard pressed on every side … persecuted … struck down". (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV)
Hopefully, such horrific dangers evade us. Yet stressors do press against us. It may be a draining relationship. Perhaps societal or religious protocol restrains us in a tight harness. We're familiar with the oppressive warnings of global catastrophe. I sometimes experience dark spiritual forces pressing gloomy thoughts on my mind. Of course, we can be imprisoned by the slavishness of our own sinful bent.
Such oppressive forces work on us like a boa constrictor coiling around our very soul, squeezing out our vitality. It truly makes us desperate for God's way out. And for such distress, we can praise our Lord! That's exactly what draws us into the psalmist's experience of "a spacious place". Note David's words:
"In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. He reached down from on high and took hold of me. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." (Psalm 18:6a,16a,19 NIV)
Notice those last words: "because he delighted in me". That's a wonderful thought! God delights in me! So then, the "spacious place" is where I, too, can experience God's delight in me. That's not just for special saints like David. That's for you and me, too!
Jesus certainly delighted to be with those often viewed as misfits, and He happily lavished His merciful love on them. I can't begin to comprehend their unspeakable joy in discovering themselves to be so fondly loved — a delight to the Lord.
So then, the "spacious place" is Christ's freeing salvation, experienced by letting God love me. It's like skipping through the field together, with my hand in His, with a breeze of eternity blowing through my hair. It's soaring effortlessly on the air currents of His love. From here — this expansive "spacious place" — I can look back and laugh at those human follies and besetting entanglements that so easily pulled me down. I can let go of that strangling need to try harder, because it's not about my worthiness. It's about God's delight in me. Oh, what a blessed place — that "spacious place"! What a blessed promise for you and for me:
"For the Lord takes delight in his people. The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love." (Psalm 149:4a; 147:11 NIV)
Prayer: Mighty Rescuer, we have no one else in heaven or earth who takes such delight in us. Draw us into the spacious place of Your fondest love. Amen.
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Beautiful imagery Diane! Blessings.
Thanks for the inspirational thoughts, Diane.
Your words paint a beautiful picture, Diane. Thanks and blessings!
Thank you, Diane, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us.
Oh Diane, your message spoke to me and cheered me. Keep up your writing – look forward to more of your messages. We have an amazing God!
This devotional just flows from encouragement to encouragement. Thank you for writing.
Good Morning Diane,
That is one of the most beautiful and inspiring devotionals, I have ever read! May God continue to bless your gift of writing.
Diane – not just your expression of delight, but the very wording you choose, gives me such joy. Skipping through this day with Jesus warms my being.
And in that spacious place, our Good Shepherd prepares a table in the presence of all those enemies…and he then anoints our head with oil, and the cup runs over…! What a blessed and freeing reality. Thank you for painting such a beautiful word picture.
What beautiful thoughts. Thank you so much.
This morning I have been reading Andrew Murray’s Waiting on God. He has very similar thoughts.
Many thanks Diane for this beautiful and delightful devotional this morning. Reflection on that “Spacious place” radiates a very uplifting feeling. The Lord is definitely a great light in our daily life.
Blessings for your very special writings.
Good Morning Diane
When you wrote about, “letting go” the vision of a handful of helium balloons being released came to mind and the word ‘freedom,’ thank you for this visual of God’s amazing love.
Your devotion led me to read from an old journal of mine. Because I was meditating on the “spacious place,” God reminded me through my writings that my spacious place is right there…in my journaling. There, all inhibitions dissolve and I am consumed by the wonders He shows me. It’s like a dream in which I am strengthened and upon my awakening, I am prepared for whatever is coming…refreshed! Thank you.
Hi Diane and thank you for today’s devotion. From the very first sentence, you had me hooked! Not only was I taken back to my childhood farm, but I was hooked on your literary ability and word usage. While I never saw eagles soaring, I feel homesick when I think back to the freedom we had running and skipping through the green pastures and leafy woodlands as we made our way to the river at the back of the farm.
Your scriptural comparisons make for clearer pictures and in-depth lessons of God’s unfailing love for each of us. Analogies such as oppressive forces/boa constrictors make the distress I feel at times, quite real. I commend you on your creative ability!
Thank you, and may you continue to be blessed with the sharing of His teachings.
Thank you, Diane. What a joy to know that God delights in us!