There is something both invigorating and daunting about the idea of writing a blog in response to daily scripture readings. I've said this before, but it bears repeating...when you commit to writing a response without knowing what the scripture will say on any given day, it is a risky and vulnerable venture!
I wanted very much to feel "led" to write a response to the reading from the Gospel of Luke, or to a reading in Hebrews, or 1 Thessalonians...but I found myself drawn to this passage in Psalm 18, and it is my sincere hope that what I share will be an encouragement to someone who needs to hear these words today...
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
This passage paints a poetic and vivid image of my personal experiences of loss over this past summer. I hesitate to share, because it is so deeply personal, and perhaps not worthy of the festive nature of the Advent season...and yet I feel compelled by the thought that someone...somewhere...will read this blog, and be comforted by the story, and by the promise of God's care in the midst of painful times.
During the span of just a few short weeks this summer, I lost the relationship that was my most cherished treasure, and my Mother passed away after a long illness and series of hospitalizations. I was, in every way I know how to describe or say, drowning in very deep waters of sadness. As I read the psalmist's poem today, I immediately and instinctively knew the names of my enemies, the foes who were too strong for me in the day of my disaster...they were hurt and despair and fear...they were hopelessness and anger and unbelief. They were, all of them, too strong for me.
And yet, I can say with the psalmist, He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me...
In his love, God rescued me and brought me to a spacious place. As the words of an old hymn say, "sometimes a light surprises!" He did this because he delights in me...not because I've done something to earn it or deserve it...but just because he loves, and I am the object of his love.
Life is full of twists and turns...of joy and sorrow...of pain and ecstasy, and unexpected loss. And through it all, the great God of the universe reaches down to us...as it says in the Gospel of John, he became flesh and came to live with us. He reaches for me, and he reaches for you.
Perhaps today you need him to reach for you...to take hold of you and draw you out of deep waters...I do not know your foes...the enemies that are too strong for you...but I know the God who reaches down. If you are in deep waters today, know that his arm is not too short to save...he can bring you to a spacious place, and he will...he will because he loves you, and because he delights in you too.