Be pleased o God, to deliver…baby, today?

Psalm 70: 1 Be pleased, O God, to deliver me; *
O Lord, make haste to help me.

2 Let those who seek my life be ashamed
and altogether dismayed; *
let those who take pleasure in my misfortune
draw back and be disgraced.

3 Let those who say to me “Aha!” and gloat over me turn back, *
because they are ashamed.

4 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; *
let those who love your salvation say for ever,
“Great is the Lord!”

5 But as for me, I am poor and needy; *
come to me speedily, O God.

6 You are my helper and my deliverer; *
O Lord, do not tarry.

I had to smile at the opening verses of today’s morning psalm as I could almost hear it on the lips of a family member who is expecting – expecting her first baby.  We – all the family and my church community have been praying in earnest that things get underway soon.

This psalm, of course, is anything but about labor and delivery of a blessing – a child.  This is a petition to be saved – delivered – from enemies. Not my favorite of topics or biblical themes because of the dichotomy such psalms and much of the Hebrew scriptures often sets up – the us-them narrative that leaves little room for Jesus’ commandment to love our enemies.  Perhaps this is why I have recorded no reflections on Psalm 70 in the scriptural journal I began to keep in earnest in 2009.  Though I was surprised to find not one pause recorded through the years, I was grateful for the reminder – the reminder of how important the discipline of recording “whispers”, thoughts, questions has been to me – to keep me on track, to dwell in God’s Word and allow the Word to read me.

So, though finding no reflection specifically on Psalm 70, I was made aware that I haven’t avoided altogether the sentiment and petition expressed (also found nearly word for word in Psalm 40 (11-17) ), having often reflected on its application in my personal life and the life of God’s church. Sentiments and themes like Deliver me, Lord. You are my only helper. Don’t tarry – God’s time. 

Yep.  True that.  Though my loved one has been open to trying all sorts of things to trigger delivery – acupuncture, long walks a couple of times a day, some distinct foods – she has left the praying to me (and my fellow prayer warriors).  We talked last night at the news that another friend due at the same time, had delivered in the morning.  As happy as she was for Laura, she felt discouraged.  Trying to dissuade her from being discouraged and to cheer her up, I offered that many of our friends and family had predicted a Friday delivery – St Pat’s Day – because, well…her favorite color is green, her great-grandfather’s bday is March 17, the date corresponds with her wedding date…yada yada yada.  She’d have none of it.  “Ugh!  Please pray for this baby to come now – not Friday – that’s two days away!”

So that was my prayer last night.  But by midnight, baby was still snug as a bug in utero.  So, my first thought this morning was to pray baby comes, today, March 16.  Which brings me full circle to this psalm and the opening couplet.

I am once again just awed at God’s Word at how it speaks to us in our own particularities over and over and through time.  A living word – day in day out.  Any other time, any other day, I would have skipped over this reading to get past another “us-them” psalm.  But today I was paused by the Holy Spirit and blessed to receive the exact words I need for the prayers and petitions I am offering for my loved one this day.  A prayer for “deliverance.”

Will you join your prayers to mine for my expecting loved one?  Here’s what I’m praying,

Be pleased, O God, to deliver her baby; *
O Lord, make haste to help her.
“Great is the Lord!”
…as for her, she is poor and needy; *
come to her speedily, O God.
You are her helper and her deliverer; *
O Lord, do not tarry.

In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

In “due” time I’ll let you know when this new child of God’s makes his or her way home.

Until then,

Praise God.

Thursday Daily Office Readings: M Psalm [70], 71; PM Psalm 74
Jer. 4:9-10,19-28; Rom. 2:12-24; John 5:19-29

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