August 3, 2019
Have you found yourself at your wits' end recently with another day of the endless news cycle? Have you felt like you know not what to do in this messy and tragic world? I imagine the Israelites who wandered the desert could relate. They weren't too far along in their journey when they began to complain: where's the food, Moses?! It's easy to complain about the state of the world today: immigration issues, racism, war, climate change, addiction, and so many other things feed into our understanding of just how messy and tragic the world we live in is.
Psalms 107:1-3, 43
by Beth Tipton
Clergy of Wesley Foundation at UVa-Wise
Psalm 107 reminds us that the story we are living fits into a bigger and broader story of God's redemption. The Israelites remember how they have suffered and that God has delivered them. They tell their story through Psalm, and ponder the deeds of the Lord, which brings them wisdom. Despite the daily challenges in the world they experience, they know they have been redeemed and God is faithful. Not only do they remember what God has done, they remember God's unfailing love and express gratefulness. Our story this day is unique, yet we are each part of the collective story of those gathered from all corners of the Earth. God gathers us and redeems us. In whatever way we suffer we can cry out to the Lord and trust the promise of redemption. The late songwriter Rich Mullins puts it this way: "I will never doubt [God's] promise, though I doubt my heart, I doubt my eyes. My Deliverer is coming, my Deliverer is standing by."
The invitation this Psalm offers is to give thanks and tell our story of redemption. What is your testimony? What has God done in your life? Sharing how God has moved within our difficulties and sufferings helps others to see God's redeeming work in the midst of this messy and tragic world. Sharing our story helps each of us individually and communally give thanks to God. It is through reflecting on what God has done, and sharing our stories that we are empowered to give thanks in ALL circumstances. Who will you share your story with today?