The Assyrian… and my stroke

The night before I went into the hospital (for my stroke), when we knew something was going on but didn’t know what yet, right before bed, I asked the Lord to give me some verses. I do this pretty much every night, but not always. Usually, I feel led to a Psalm or something, but that night Isaiah 10:24-27 was very clear in my spirit.

“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, “O My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear the Assyrian who strikes you with the rod and lifts up his staff against you, the way Egypt did. For in a very little while My indignation against you will be spent and My anger will be directed to their destruction.” The LORD of hosts will arouse a scourge against him like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; and His staff will be over the sea and He will lift it up the way He did in Egypt. So it will be in that day, that his burden will be removed from your shoulders and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be broken because of fatness.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭10:24-27‬

Even though it was so clear, I remember at the time, that I pretty much dismissed it, thinking I’d heard wrong (always possible). “Lord, what does that have to do with anything?” I don’t remember when it was that He brought it back to mind, whether in the hospital or at home, but I’ve been chewing on it ever since.

The “Assyrian”, for me, is the stroke.

God knew, before we got to the hospital, what they were going to find. And though I wasn’t there yet, He was telling me the night before to not fear it. It served His purposes, and He would use it, and when He was done, He would remove the burden of it from my shoulders, and the yoke of it would be broken.

Such clear, clear promises, exactly fitting to my situation. Something I didn’t initiate, nor go looking for to make it apply. In fact, I dismissed it at first, and His Spirit had to bring it back to mind or I would’ve forgotten it. So, I definitely have the assurance that this is all Him and none me.

When I looked up the word “assyrian” in the Hebrew, it meant “guided and blessed” also, “a step, and safety, and successful”. The Assyrian (the stroke) is a bad thing to my way of thinking, but to God’s way of thinking it’s such a needful, useful thing. Hard yes, but He’s not leaving me alone there, He’s guiding and blessing the process, and He sees it as a successful step upward that keeps me in HIS safety zone of living connnectedness to Him. DEpendent. Even in small things. Rather than just living life according to my own thoughts.

So often, that’s what trials are. They’re hard, but they keep us safe in God. They’ll turn our attention towards Him. Too often, we turn away, or are so caught up in what’s happening that we miss Him… but if we’ll slow down, and look for Him, He’s there -Right. Beside. Us- waiting for us to SEE Him beyond what’s happening at the moment.

God never sends us hardship and difficulty, but He doesn’t stop it from coming. Maybe that sounds cruel. God is a god of love after all, you say. But it’s all in our perception and knowing of Him. From His point of view, when things are always good and going smoothly, we rarely need Him. And what’s the use of even having a god, if we rarely need to go to Him? And if we rarely need Him, then how are we gonna get to know Him?

….and the desire of His heart is to have a people who know Him and in whom He can reveal His Son as they walk thru the good and bad of this life.

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