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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 107:3243

He turns rivers into a desert,
   springs of water into thirsty ground,
a fruitful land into a salty waste,
   because of the wickedness of its inhabitants.
He turns a desert into pools of water,
   a parched land into springs of water.
And there he lets the hungry live, and they establish a town to live in;
they sow fields, and plant vineyards,
   and get a fruitful yield.
By his blessing they multiply greatly,
   and he does not let their cattle decrease.

When they are diminished and brought low
   through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,
he pours contempt on princes
   and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
but he raises up the needy out of distress,
    and makes their families like flocks.
The upright see it and are glad;
   and all wickedness stops its mouth.
Let those who are wise give heed to these things,
   and consider the steadfast love of the Lord. (NRSV)

Psalm 107 shows us the enduring love of God, even while experiencing difficult situations. We all woke up Saturday morning, August 26 to discover the wrath of Hurricane Harvey. Our televisions, Twitter feeds, and Facebook stories showed us the devastation that Texas was experiencing. We saw images of elderly sitting in several feet of water as they waited to be rescued. While watching live news feeds on Facebook, I read comments from victims pleading for rescue assistance. And as I write this, we still don’t know what the full extent of the damage will be and how high the death toll will rise.

My family lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, for two years, and I remember the nervousness and fear that came with the threat of a hurricane. I think about the people who are stranded right now and those who don’t have flood insurance but do have severely damaged homes and businesses that most likely won’t be salvageable.

Where is God in all of this? Do the people experiencing the storm feel God’s presence? Do they feel God’s love? God is there, with them, literally in the midst of the storm, even though it may not seem like it.

What we can take away from Psalm 107 is that God is faithful to us in all circumstances of life. We will all face challenges, whether it be individually or as a community, and God will be with us during those trying times. We can rest assured that God loves us more than we can ever imagine, and this gives me hope, even when feeling downtrodden.

Gracious and loving God, help me always to seek you in times of hardship. Help me to see you during those times, for your steadfast love is with me every moment of every day. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator

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