“I’ve taken refuge in you, Lord. Don’t let me ever be put to shame! Deliver me and rescue me by your righteousness! Bend your ear toward me and save me!” Psalm 71:1-2 (CEB)
This Psalm was written by an older person; someone who had experienced much and grown closer to God with the passing years.
He speaks of God as a reliable refuge; we needn’t feel abandoned even during the silence. He calls out to God to deliver, to rescue, to listen, to save. God does all this and more. God delivers us to a new place of insight and understanding. God brings us to a better understanding of our creator.
With the passing years, the psalmist experienced growing trust. You don’t gain trust all at once. It comes in stages. When we trust, we look backwards. We see God’s activity in the past and we know that we can, once again, trust.
If trust looks back, hope looks into the future. It seeks out and imagines something better than what we see in front of us. Trust and hope work together when we allow God in.
These are easy words for me to write. I believe them because I’ve experienced God bringing me through difficult times. I have experienced God setting me down in a new place with new possibilities and insight.
Yet, I wonder, over and over and over again. How do people cope without knowing that God is there? How do people who live on the fringes of society get through even a single day without understanding trust and hope?
They see it all around them: in the food pantries and the soup kitchens; in the free clinics and the rehab units. They see people of faith serving tirelessly because they know about this stuff; that it’s real. And they serve tirelessly because they no longer want to hide in God’s presence.
And so they go out to serve. They build the relationships. They spread the gospel wherever they go.
And sometimes they use words.
All glory and honor be to God. Amen.