Scripture: Psalm 65
Key verses: (5-8)
5 By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas.
6 By your strength you established the mountains;
you are girded with might.
7 You silence the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples.
8 Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.
Reflection: The scenes out of Houston and surrounding areas are hard to watch. There is so much water where there should be dry ground, and roads, and houses and people. Pictures of elderly people, and children, and animals in distress are troubling. The news media is doing their best to capture the stories of heroism and human goodness that always come in the wake of a major disaster, but the devastation continues, and it’s awful.
I read these lines from Psalm 65 and think that people in the midst of the storm and the flooding might have trouble with verses that give praise to God for silencing the roaring of the sea. Because right now there is a whole lot of roaring and tumult and struggling to survive. Many people are still waiting for an answer of deliverance. Their prayers probably sound much more like psalms of lament than psalms of praise, at least right now.
Thanks God for the rescuers! Thank God for those in their little fishing boats and canoes who are looking for neighbors in need. Thank God for the Coast Guard and the National Guard and the sanitation workers driving their vehicles through flooded streets. Thank God for the Red Cross and other disaster agencies and an army of volunteers who are trying to provide shelter to thousands of people who have lost everything. Here at the church we are taking regular calls from folks wanting to know how to help, and what we are doing. We want to DO something. The impulse to help when others are in trouble isn’t limited to followers of Jesus, thanks be to God. But out of our faith, we are moved to compassion, and a desire to give and serve and share. What if these are the ways that God indeed delivers those in trouble? What if these are the awesome deeds of deliverance that God provides, and the awesome signs that God provides? May our desire to help be part of what makes the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.
Prayer: Lord, you are the One who rescues all those in need. We pray for our brothers and sisters suffering from recent storms, in our country and all across the world. Strengthen and deliver them. May you turn prayers into real action. In the name of Christ we pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
Want to help? Our church partners with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance in times of need like this. Read more and donate here. http://pda.pcusa.org/situation/tropical-storm-harvey/
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].