Psalm 124:1,4-5 – If it had not been the Lord who was on our side — then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; then over us would have gone the raging waters. (NRSV)
When it rains, it pours. Here in Newfoundland, it does that very well. Just last week, we were inundated. As I watched with some trepidation, the small stream behind my house, which in the summer slows to barely more than a trickle, swelled with the torrential rainfall and melting snow to form a veritable river. Crashing over defiant granite rocks and coursing through the narrows, it became muddied "white water" rapids. This torrent bore down, threatening to carry away everything in its wake.
Sometimes life feels like that. A torrential downpour of difficulties will threaten to carry us away. With head bent into the howling gale of trouble, one hand upon our Sou'wester and the other grabbing for anything to support us, we feel as if the winds of change will sweep us from our feet.
Sometimes my life has felt like that. My daughter became anorexic, my husband's cancer killed him, my grandchild died at birth, my son was life-flighted to a distant city in a coma with major organ failure. Where does one turn when the tragedies of life happen?
For the ancient Israelites, when life felt overwhelming, they took their consolation from the words, "If the Lord had not been on our side then." (my paraphrase) The implication is that the Lord was on their side, therefore they could trust. Thus they could affirm, "Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth." (Psalm 124:8 NRSV) Likewise, as we live in Christ Jesus, we are firmly grounded, like granite rocks around which the swelling flood flows, leaving us wet, but unscathed. But when life does feel overwhelming for us, we can rest assured that in looking to the Lord, not only will we find the strength to carry on, but even more, Christ will grant us the energy to reach out to others to minister to them.
Prayer: Creating and rescuing God, we turn to You in our moments of confusion and sorrow, trusting that You will be there for us. O Lord, give us the assurance that You are near to us and are our help. Through Christ Jesus our Lord, we pray. Amen.