In the 1950’s, when little Suzie Titus came home from school with a problem, her parents, Cloyd and Celestial Titus, took different approaches with answers. Her mother, Celestial, a godly woman, always encouraged, “Let’s pray for them,” trusting that God could convict the guilty party and bring peace to the situation. On the other hand, Suzie’s father, Cloyd, also very godly, was willing to give the Lord some assistance, saying, “Let’s get a 2 x 4 and take care of it!”
When our children were younger and trouble presented itself, I took the part of Celestial and my husband made a trip to the school.
You might never have had a parent who was willing to take care of business when you were growing up. You may still have an empty place inside you because of that, or perhaps you have scars from the relationship you had. If you do, I’m so sorry for that. Let me assure you of something…God can be that Father for you! And I can prove it!
Psalm 18 has been a favorite of mine for 10 years. Let me show you how I see it…
“I love you, O LORD, You are my strength.” Now that’s preachin’! He IS my strength. Without Him I’m just a noodle.
“He is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer.” Yes! Keep goin’!
“I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise and I am saved…the cords of death entangled me…overwhelmed me. The snares of death confronted me.” I was in trouble, BIG trouble! Felt like I would surely die!
“In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help.” Who ELSE can help in time of crisis?!
“From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears.” (Wait! I have to take a second to picture God’s ears! Does He have ears shaped like us?! They must be HUMUNGOUS to hear all of our prayers!) My cries, OUR cries, come before Him and He hears us!
This is my favorite part. So, God has heard His child in trouble. (That’s me and that’s you!) He has heard the cries for rescue. Now He is getting ready to GET UP…off His throne. (I can hear Him saying, “Don’t make me get up from here.”) And He is about to open up a can of Cloyd Titus on somebody.
“The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook…because He was angry. Smoke came out of His nose!” (Now, I’m picturing God’s NOSE!) “He parted the heavens and came down on cherubim (ANGELS)! He soared on the wings of the wind.” TO GET ME!!! And you, of course! “He made darkness His covering, His canopy around him”…and then WHOOSH! “Out of the brightness of His presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning.” HAILSTONES AND LIGHTNING!!! Are you picturing this with me?!
Then “the Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded (BOOMED). He shot His arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning He routed (defeated) them.” That’s what I’m talking about!
I hear God saying, “Don’t mess with my kid!” (No age limit on that-btw.) But there’s more!
This is really my favorite part! It’s what He did next! “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” I need a second here. It’s a lot to take in.
I love what He didn’t do…He didn’t call me an idiot. He didn’t tell me my trouble was my own fault. He didn’t leave me where I was. He didn’t tell me to save myself. And that’s why I cling to Him.
My LAST favorite part: “He delighted in me…” That gives me a big enough warm fuzzy to make a housecoat! The devil tries to make me think God doesn’t delight in me, that I’m too heavy to carry and just a nuisance. The devil is a big fat liar. God’s Word tells me differently!
Best to my recollection, Cloyd Titus never took the board to school. But he was ready. All Suzie had to do was give the word.
Dawn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor's wife in Prestonsburg. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.