Text: Psalm 77:2
“When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted.”
Text: Isaiah 14:26-27
“This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all the nations. For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?”
Asaph’s verses fit everyone at some time in life. Although we seek God daily for the things we need, times of distress make our prayers even more urgent. In the daylight we often ask for help from other people, but at night, when we are less distracted by active events, we find we need more comfort.
Then we reach out to our God. We persist, because hope and help can come from no one else. The depth of our emotion and misery cannot be soothed simply or easily. Asaph doesn’t resume a positive tone in this psalm until the beginning of verse ten, when he makes a positive choice to recount the acts and character of God.
We should also keep constant track of all the blessings God has provided in our lives. Each recuperation from surgery, each providential job, the friends, caregivers, and family who surround us provide stepping stones of proof that God is always actively involved in our lives. Recounting our private “psalms of support” also strengthens our resolve to speak about God’s constant care.
Isaiah reminds us that our source of help is the same God who controls the whole world, whose plans include all nations. Would we truly want comfort from another, lesser source, if one existed? What is stunning, if we truly stop to think deeply about it, is that the God who controls the behavior of nations is also willing and eager to be involved in the tiniest, most intimate details of our lives. He knows when we wake in the morning, when we sit and stand; he knows the thoughts in our minds before we speak them. This constant attention protects us and steers us toward decisions that bring the lasting satisfaction of relationship with him.
Even though the rhythms of our lives don’t always completely match the general pattern in the world, if we have accepted the gift of salvation from this generous God, we will take part in completing the fulfilling work he planned for us before we existed. No matter what we appear to accomplish here in life, we cannot possibly fail, for we do his work and he cannot be thwarted.
Heidi Dru Kortman DTM
God's gifts and call are irrevocable.
Heidi Dru Kortman, a CWG Apprentice graduate, ACFW member since 2004, and Word Weaver member has published devotionals in various newsletters, and a collected volume of devotionals. Her poetry, flash fiction, and short stories have appeared in small magazines, and a website. She is applying herself to the task of writing smoothly polished fiction.