Posted on behalf of Pastor Wes
A Song of Ascents
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.
2 Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!
3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the LORD!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
8 It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.
“I wait for the Lord…” Psalm 130 was my late grandmother’s favorite passage from Scripture. She was born in 1919, and during her 96 years witnessed some significant historical events. Depression, World War, Korea, Vietnam, Civil Rights, Watergate, the Gulf Wars, and 911, just to name a few. She knew what it meant to be in need, and she knew the importance of helping others. She had been the one crying to God from the depths and she could recognize it in others. She clung to her faith through all of her life’s challenges and carried it with her until God finally called her home. Did all of the above teach her patience? Sure, maybe some, but I think even more than patience it taught her to trust God, and find hope in acknowledging that God would be with her through it all.
The writer of my Grandma’s favorite psalm also understood this. We don’t know why exactly he was crying out to God in pain, but all we have to do is read on to get to the heart of the matter. Does he ask God for anything in particular? No. “I wait for the LORD”…”hope is in the LORD.” He trusted that God’s will would be done, and that was enough. The outcome would be of God’s choosing, but hope founded in God’s Promises would never be in vain. God’s grace is sufficient.
Six weeks of sheltering-at-home and social distancing is taking its toll on many of us. Maybe it’s loneliness, or the constant fear of getting sick, or the legitimate and ever present concern for the most vulnerable among us. Doubtless, many of us are also feeling the financial burden that not being able to work is causing. Regardless of the reason, fear has become our constant companion. Fear is a powerful force. It can drive us to despair or inspire us to be safe. In either case though, fear does not have the final word, God does! Our hope is always founded in the promises of Almighty God. With the psalmist, we cry out to God, and take hope in the sure knowledge that He hears us, and will
always act in our behalf. In the meantime, like my grandma, we cling to our faith and commit ourselves to helping one another through this trying time. God is with us! That will never change! With that Good News always in mind, we will get through this. Remember, the Face of God is never any further away than the face of our neighbor. Trusting in Him, let us recommit ourselves to serving God by serving each other.
We will, eventually, be able to gather together again in worship and praise of Our God. Until then, let us continue to lift one another up in prayer, as we continue to hope in the LORD.
Be well, be kind, and be safe!
Pastor Wes †