You’ve probably heard the old saying, “A horse! A horse! My Kingdom for a horse!” as supposedly shouted by Richard III in Shakespeare’s play. It was a play on the old proverb: For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.” A great battle lost because of a tiny nail. Currently we are battling a great fear that is making people around the world make changes to their lives. People are staying indoors. Many didn’t attend the Olympics, in part because of this great threat…and it is very real. The threat is a virus, zika, passed along by a mosquito. Major changes are happening all around the world out of fear of a mosquito.
We look at people with great strength and find that if they were confronted by any of the things that we normally fear: other people with great strength or someone with a weapon, they would most likely prevail. Yet something small like a virus, or an infection, will easily put them down. How easy it is to rely on our own strength, and yet, as the Psalmist said, “No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.” (Psalm 33:16-17)
The Psalm goes further by pointing out that God is the one who delivers us. He delivers us in life. He delivers us from death. We live in a fitness crazed society. Gyms for people to work out and gain strength have sprung up all over the place. People are outside jogging, or even walking, no matter what the weather. Their goal, of course, is to get their bodies in shape and to be healthy. They want to withstand any of the physical problems that life can throw at them. Believe me, there is nothing wrong with all of that. We need to keep in shape. God has given us these bodies so that we can live on this earth and we should be taking care of them. At the same time, we all need to remember that God has given us souls, and we need to take care of them. Elisha asked the widow who ran to him if everything was alright. She answered affirmatively, but Elijah noted that her soul was troubled. Of course it was, her son had died. (2 Kings 4:26) He needed to minister to her soul. We need to take care of our souls.
One of my favorite songs has always been, “It is well with my soul.” The author of that song wrote it in the midst of immense tragedy. Why could he say that it was well with his soul? He knew that God was in control and he practiced living with Him daily. My soul food each day begins by reading God’s word and reacting to it (here). I gain sustenance through prayer. It continues by listening to praise type music throughout the day in various ways. It continues as I look at this amazing world that God has created and worshiping Him throughout the day. Many folks have noted my optimism as my wife and I have dealt with her fight against cancer: her second fight against cancer. We are able to be so optimistic because we know that God is in control. We have a far better understanding of what Paul meant when he said, “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) We get special encouragement and doses of soul food on Wednesday nights when we gather with God’s people for prayer and Bible study. We get an amazing dose of soul food each Sunday when we gather with a larger group of God’s people for worship and Bible study. Is it well with your soul? Are you getting enough soul food each day?
Lord God, thank You that deliverance depends on You. You see me through each and every day with the trials and tribulations that each day brings. Continue to feed my soul. Continue to give me just enough strength to get through the day, but not so much strength that I think I can do things on my own. Keep me filled with Your grace and mercy.