Hopeful Victory

“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.” (Psalms 33:18-19 ESV)

Sitting quietly in the mornings I’m often drawn to the Psalms. One morning, while singing a Psalm, I thought about the way the Psalmists often extols the past successes of the LORD. Often these success begin with creation, continue with past battles in which His people are delivered, and flows into praise of G-d for one or more of His perfect attributes, such as abiding love for those He called to be a people for Him.

A friend, and writer/minister, once wrote of a week of struggles she’d endured. It was a week in which G-d’s truth won, and conquered, current feelings. She wrote, “. . . I am still remembering to rely on the truth more than what I feel. . .” This remembering is what the Psalmist encouraged us to do. They remembered the past successes of G-d, and now were able to be hopeful that the G-d who saved them in the past would once again act according to His divine and perfect plan and save them again. We can remember, too, the way G-d stepped in and rescued us in the past. We can hold to these memories of the past because G-d is able and willing to save us today, too. And in the future we can hope in the LORD to rescue, to save, just as He has done.

In stories I tell my kids, I like to illustrate the power of G-d to not only watch out for us, but to also let us know that He is doing so. I’ve told them the following story on several occasions:

Late in the afternoon, in the north of India, I stood with many Indians waiting for a train north. I read a few pages from Lonely Planet’s guide to India. In one section, it cautioned of the dangers of evening trains north toward Nepal, which was my destination. I grew a bit concerned as night came upon me with no train in sight. I prayed. Finally the train arrived. I boarded and continued to pray. At the next stop an off-duty police officer boarded the train. He traveled quite a ways with us, finally hopping of near a village in which, I suppose, he lived. I took this whole episode as a gift of acknowledgment from G-d that, yes, He was looking out for me.

I tell the story to the kids that they might remember it when they find themselves in a position in which they are concerned for their own safety. It is a way to help them as they grow, until they have their own experience of G-d’s deliverance.

Thank You, LORD, for Your love and the hope in our life well-lived. AMEN.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

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