Delivered. In today’s rush-rush world, many of us use this word more often than we may choose to admit. “Let’s have dinner delivered.” “Order it on Amazon and have it delivered to your house in two days.” “I’m going to have my groceries delivered this week because I’m just too busy to go to the store.” Any of these sound familiar? This paints a picture of me pretty accurately. I just want to have things delivered.
Recently, however, I’ve spent some time reflecting on a different meaning of this term, the one that means to “save, set free from, or rescue.” I think about the numerous stories in the Bible where God chose to deliver someone from imminent peril: Daniel in the lion’s den; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace; Jonah in the belly of the whale; and Paul and Silas in prison are just a few of my favorites. The most significant of all, however, is the way God had a plan to deliver each of us from sin and death through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus. Delivered.
When you compare the two uses of this word, you may be able to see how they aren’t that different at all. Here’s a modern day example to help illustrate what I mean. I am a forty-something single mom of two (almost) grown kids. Until very recently, I was working 70 hours a week at a job where I commuted one hour each way. That left me with very little time to do anything I would consider “fun” or “relaxing.” I was not taking care of myself from a wellness perspective, not spending time working on relationships, and not spending as much time in the Word as I should have been. I was simply exhausted. As a result, I used every possible resource I could find to get things delivered to my doorstep because I had no energy to do anything myself.
After spending several months asking God to move in my life and make my situation better, I realized I was asking to be delivered in the “rescued” sense of the word. I needed God to set me free, to rescue me, to save me from myself. I needed fixed. Delivered. Nearly seven months after I started praying for God to show me purpose and meaning in my situation, my prayer was answered. I was delivered from my situation. I realize God’s timing isn’t the same for everyone. I also believe He has something He wants us to learn while we are in the waiting. But ultimately, in His way (and not ours), He has a plan to deliver us from where we may be stuck right now.
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom
of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Those who aren’t Jesus followers might think my rejoicing at this moment is insane. You see, the way God delivered me was through downsizing in the company I worked for…my position was eliminated. That means I am currently jobless, but rejoicing. God answered my prayer to deliver me from a situation that was unhealthy for my life, and I know He won’t fail me. He has a plan for my situation, just as He has for yours.
If I’m being totally transparent in this moment, the human (and currently unemployed) side of me that is a part of modern culture would like to be “delivered” like a package from Amazon Prime or a pizza from my favorite local establishment. I would love to know what’s next for me…in 30 minutes or less! I go back to my most recent transition, though, remembering that it took time for me to be delivered from where I was, and that God always honors His promises when I am obedient to His word. Each one of us is a recipient of His matchless grace and power, His ability to see us through the storm…and deliver us safely on the other side.