October 20
‘About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.’ Acts 16:25
Bible reading: Psalm 130 (Go to the Bible passage)
If to us God is only the God of Sundays - and maybe of some weekday church meetings - then, when we run into trouble, we will at most shout for a moment: ‘Oh God, help me!’ But after that we will expect no help, except from our own possibilities.
Once an elderly clergyman got lost in the Pyrenees. He knew it was pointless to keep wandering around in circles, so he made himself as comfortable as possible and kept waiting for rescue teams to find him. This is one of the most important rules for mountaineers and we might learn a lot from it, also with regard to our spiritual life.
Obviously, the writer of Psalm 130 already learned this. When we are in distress, it is no use to run around panicking, looking for our own solutions. At least, not for those who really want to serve God. Particularly in the worst of our failures we must learn to cry out to God and… wait for Him. But whoever thinks God only tolerates us when we are flawless, will try to present himself before God as perfect, that is: in his pious moments. Certainly, he will not cry out to God when he is in trouble. To such a person God has become nothing more than a creation of his own thinking.
But when we have experienced in our life that there is truly forgiveness and redemption with God - and that He does not keep a record of sins - then in the depths we learn to cry out to Him hopefully. Then we wait for Him with praise in our heart, because only He can truly redeem! Then - even when death draws near - the praise and the heartfelt joy in the Lord will never vanish.
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