Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "We Give Thee But Thine Own"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 130:1-2,5 – Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. (NIV)
As usual, Bonnie and Sophie, my two-year-old collie and retriever, were outside on the property enjoying themselves as they kept an eye on the livestock. And just as usual, I was diligently keeping an eye on them. Even though they are extremely dependable about staying home, they are young dogs, and I know how vulnerable they are both to the temptation of further exploration off the property as well as to the accidents and mishaps that their youthful enthusiasm can produce. I thus walked outside to check on them.
Bonnie immediately bounded toward me. Sophie, however, was not in sight. Puzzled, I loudly called her name two or three times. Still nothing, so I began to scout around. Walking toward the corral, I noticed a large, dark object flat against the bottom rail of the fencing as it dipped down a slight hollow. What's that? I wondered as I began walking a little closer. It was Sophie. I clapped my hands and called for her to come. Instead, she lay where she was, wagging her tail exuberantly. Again, I gave the command to come, but all I received was a madly wagging tail. Realizing that something was amiss, I quickly approached and found that her collar had snagged on a rough nub on the inner side of the fencing. She had obviously been sticking her head between the rails and as she sought to withdraw it, she had become so firmly trapped as to have almost no room for movement. I couldn't even slide a finger between her neck and collar, a very dangerous situation which required extreme care to release her without harm.
Fortunately, Sophie did not panic to the point of injury, or worse yet, choking herself to death. Rather, she chose to lie and wait calmly for help to arrive.
Today, you or I, much like Sophie, may find ourselves caught up within a very tight situation, perhaps of our own making — and perhaps not. Many problems which catch us unawares are not caused by our own doing; they simply happen because we live in a fallen world. Whichever the case, we, like Sophie, will need to make a choice: to panic, which never leads to anything good, or else to stay calm, to wait upon the Lord to be attentive to our cries for mercy, and to put our hope in His Word which shall never fall. The choice is ours to make.
Prayer: Lord, when we feel trapped or are trapped by life's circumstances and happenings, whether of our own making or not, then through the power of Your Holy Spirit, enable us to choose to remain calm, to wait patiently, and to call upon Your name and Your mercy, trusting completely by faith that You will indeed come to our rescue as You have promised, for You are a God of truth, and You will not forsake Your loved ones. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.