March 16, 2021
March 16, 2021
By Michele Crater, Creative Director
John Wesley spoke of feeling his heart “strangely warmed” when he first became personally aware of God’s love for him, John the pastor. Growing up in the church, I had a very similar experience to Wesley, in that for so many years I had the head knowledge of Christ and the general understanding of grace on a broad level. It wasn’t until college that my heart awoke to God’s love for me, Michele. I wonder if you’ve experienced something similar?
In Psalm 107, the psalmist proclaims that all who’ve experienced the love and goodness of God should share it with all corners of the earth. I remember early in my heartwarming the fire and zeal I felt to proclaim God’s goodness for everything I encountered, good or bad. I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but over the last year I felt some of that fire dwindle, and my shouts of praise were often replaced with voices of doubt; feelings of comfort and belonging swapped for loneliness and isolation. I wonder, too, if you’ve experienced something similar?
I find hope in this psalm for the reminder – not once but twice – of God’s people who “cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.” A couple of months ago, I found myself doing just that – crying out to the Lord in trouble, hoping and praying he would deliver me from this loneliness and isolation. And God delivered. Deliverance in this case didn’t come immediately. It came in the form of friends and coworkers reaching out. It came in the form of seeking help. It came in the form of recommitting to the spiritual disciplines that fortify my faith.
As the days get longer and the warmth of the sun starts to overtake the darkness of the night, so have I felt the heartwarming stir of God’s presence start to overtake my loneliness and isolation. I give thanks that even in my waning, God’s presence remains. I give thanks that when we cry out in our troubles, God saves us from our distress.
Deliverance will look different for each of us. I pray that I, and anyone else experiencing something similar, continue to recognize God’s work in our lives so we can sing our thanks and praise.