We left late from our motel. I had to drive because Jerry’s driver’s license had just expired. The notice to renew had somehow fallen to the bottom of his stack of papers.
Driving was difficult for me because of a recent car wreck. I was still struggling with neck and back pain.
I had been driving about 30 minutes when the cars ahead of me began slowing to a stop. There were road signs about construction ahead. The right lane was ending and cars needed to merge into the left lane. I was politely waiting in line in the left lane.
But many drivers were pushing ahead in the right lane as far as possible before merging left, ahead of those who were politely waiting. I watched car after car speed by. Looking at my watch, I realized we would barely make our speaking appointment in time.
This was a huge problem for me. After driving all this way with my neck and back pain intensifying, I needed to lie down and rest for a while. But we would be fortunate if we made it in time to change clothes before we spoke.
I looked over at my husband, who was sound asleep. I sighed with frustration. I was rear-ended in that car wreck while working for God, and now I was driving because my husband had not paid attention to his driver’s license renewal notice.
What am I going to do? If I don’t get to lie down and rest my neck and back, spasms will begin and I won’t be able to speak.
Then I remembered Philippians 4:4: “Rejoice in the Lord always,” and 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In everything give thanks” (NKJ\).
Well, I did not feel like rejoicing.
Then I had an idea. Out of my bag, I pulled index cards on which I had copied Psalm 34—a chapter I have been trying to memorize for the past 20 years. No joke—and, yes, it is hard for me to memorize!
I decided to focus on praising God with Scripture and to forget about what was happening. On the first card I read Psalm 34:1: “I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” The second card read: “My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.” The third: “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.” And the fourth card: “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears” (Ps. 34:1-4, NKJ\).
I felt like singing to my God! But I couldn’t because Jerry was asleep. So I just kept reading the scripture cards.
Finally we made it past the road construction and arrived at our motel just in time to change clothes. I did lie down for three minutes. As we rode to the meeting, I was praying for the Lord’s help. I was really hurting.
What happened to me was amazing. As I spoke I felt suddenly energized, and I had no pain. That night God blessed me with more power than I had ever had in the past. Many people confirmed that.
What I want to remember is this: when life’s problems come at me, God is not limited by my circumstances or my weakness or by anything. He is God! He can do anything.
And no, I still have not memorized all of Psalm 34. But what a blessing it is to carry Bible texts, written on small pieces of paper, wherever I go. I can read and meditate on them each day.