verb / de•liv•er

: “to set free”
: “to take and hand over”
: “to give birth to”
: “to speak, sing, utter”
: “to send to an intended target or destination”
: “to come through with”

From Merriam-Webster, “Deliver.”

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But you, Lord! Don’t be far away! You are my strength! Come quick and help me!

Deliver me from the sword. Deliver my life from the power of the dog. Save me from the mouth of the lion. From the horns of the wild oxen you have answered me!

Psalm 22:19-21

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The psalmist’s words in today’s text remind me of a mother shaking her finger at her son, warning him not to wander too far off when he goes outside to play.

But even if we were to shake our finger at God (which I’m sure we all have done a time or two), God never seems to follow “our” directions. God never stays put in the boxes we tend to put God in. That’s simply not how God works!

Some days, God will seem as close as our very breath. And other days, it will seem as if God has wandered away and is nowhere to be found. How and where do you sense God with or without you today?

Wherever God seems to be, may we live trusting that God, our “ever-present help in times of trouble,” (Psalm 46:1) is never too far gone to save us.

Mary Alice Birdwhistell

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Deliver me, oh God, from trying to get you to follow “my” directions. Open my mind, heart, and soul to your ever-present, always-on-the-move, never-ending Love. Amen.

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May our good God fully deliver you
from whatever it is that is
holding you back,
dragging you down,
locking you in,
or drowning you out,
so that you might be free
to do what God is calling you to do
and to become who God is creating you to be.

Mary Alice Birdwhistell

Mary Alice Birdwhistell serves as the associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, where she enjoys sharing life with a beautifully diverse community of people. She is a graduate of Georgetown College in Kentucky and Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Texas, and she claims both states to be “home.” Mary Alice loves the color purple, anything chocolate, and Kentucky basketball.

Wondrous Love: Music of Lent - I Surrender All

Mark Hayes

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