On My Side

(from Psalms 124 & 129)

Back when I was a four-year-old boy, polio was still the rage, and being a stylish young lad, I picked some up for myself.† Actually, I was told it was both bulbar polio and spinal meningitis, at the same time.† I was paralyzed on the left side of my body, was hospitalized for about 3 months and in rehab for the next year.† By age 13, I had an atrophied left leg and spinal scoliosis.† So I wore the Milwaukee brace from my chin to my hips till I was 16, just when I was getting interested in girls!† My early lifeís ministry was to make the other guys in the locker room look good.† I further distinguished myself on the playing field by being the bargain player each team graciously wanted the other side to have on their team.

That line in Psalm 129 verse 3 that says, ď the plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long,Ē seemed to help me identify with the sufferings of Christ.† He was so brutally beaten and scourged for me.† As He dragged His cross through the streets to the jeers of so many, no one seemed to want to be on His team, either.†

Though His enemies attacked Him and killed Him, they did not gain the victory over Him.† They wanted to tear Him up with their teeth, engulf Him with floods of hatred.† But they were not able to catch Him.† He willingly submitted Himself to their wickedness, so that all who believe in Him might be spared going through this hellish ordeal themselves.

In comparison to His sufferings, mine are nothing.† While I may have shared in His innocence in the afflictions of that disease, the vast majority of the pain in my life since then has been self inflicted.† My sins made me worthy of being torn to pieces by a mob.† My sins made me deserve to be sent where He went in my place.† But now, because of the sacrifice of Jesus, I have escaped like a bird.† Yes, I have escaped like a bird from out of the fowlerís snare; Iíve escaped his broken snare.† My help is the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

So, what is the snare the fowler uses to catch us and drag us away?† Itís the righteous judgment of God Himself.† God said the soul that sins will die, and Satan will appeal to Godís own justice against us, whenever he can.† God cannot take back His Word, but He can send His word to die in our place.† The Word that was with Him in the beginning, the Word that became flesh and dwelt and died and rose again, for our sakes.†