Monday, March 2, 2020 -
Psalm 31 from very early on in this ordeal has been a great comfort for me. As Kathie and I would read through the Bible, I’d jot down references of God’s promises of victory. It is in His victory alone we are to trust, rather than our own abilities, or lawyers, or in the judicial system. There are all man-made efforts. “In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in Your righteousness deliver me! Incline Your ear to rescue me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! For you are my Rock and my Fortress; and for Your name’s sake You lead me and guide me; You take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for You are my Refuge. Into Your hand I commit my spirit. You have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God” (v. 1-5).
It was a year ago, having already spent three months in prison, all of my appeals exhausted, when I was faced with some hard choices. While it appeared my time in prison would be cut by 12 months of home confinement, I felt I was at the end of my road, legally. What about all of God’s signs and promises for vindication? I was still receiving messages, notes, and letters from those who told me I was to be exonerated, vindicated, or that all wrongs would be made right. Others told me God would restore all things – some ten-fold. But how could this be? There was no possible human way!
And so I told God that I still believe His promises and I still believe He was able and capable to deliver me. I truly believed He would. Yet Kathie and I both had to come to the point of total surrender to God’s will. Even if I had to serve my full term, we would be okay with that, because He has purposes our finite human minds are incapable of understanding. Still, I trusted somehow, some way, God would deliver me, and never stopped praying.
A new lawsuit had been filed against us in Virginia, and we were about out of money. Psalm 21 goes on, “For I hear the whispering of many – terror on every side! – as they scheme against me, as the plot to take my life. But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save me in Your steadfast love” (v. 13-16)!
Today, I expressed my gratitude to God for all of this in front of my oldest son and wife who came for a visit, that how apart from God’s handiwork, a year ago I could never imagine that my sentencing judge would seemingly become my best advocate for complete vindication. He has not made his ruling yet, but more than ever before I am confident God will sway his heart to do this very thing, allowing me to walk free. God has caused my lead attorney and the prosecutors to dig themselves a deep pit through their deception which they are unable to explain (Prov. 19:9). God did this!
David next wrote, “O Lord, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon You; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol. Let the lying lips be mute which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt. Oh how abundant is Your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear You and worked for those who take refuge in You, in the sight of the children of mankind! In the center of Your presence You hide them from the plots of men; You store them in the shelter from strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord, for He has wondrously shown His steadfast love to me when I was a besieged city. I had said in my alarm, ‘I am cut off from Your sight.’ But You heard the voice of my please for mercy when I cried to You for help” (V. 17-22).
Oh, how these words of David echo my same thoughts! “Love the Lord, all you, His saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take course, all you who wait for the Lord” (v. 23-24). All Scriptures today are taken from the English Standard Version.