Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. Psalm 69:1
When Marco Polo, an early world traveler, returned to Venice, he had a hard time making people believe that the mighty, 3,000-mile-long Yangtze River in China was in places so wide that one could not see the opposite bank. Big rivers, in flood stage, grow even wider and seem like inland lakes.
So it is with the rivers of trouble. Their threatening waters sometimes seem so wide that the other side cannot be seen. Then comes more rain, making it utterly impossible to cross over in our frail boats.
Joseph in Egypt saw his problems multiply, making them seem like the flooding Nile. Sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers, he was falsely accused of sexual harassment by Potiphar's wife and was committed to a foul dungeon (see Genesis 39). For pious Job, there was no end in sight as a whole series of afflictions befell him. He exclaimed, "Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7). For him the sparks led to a total conflagration of the life he had known.
Undoubtedly all of us have been in situations when we exclaim with the psalmist, "Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck" (Psalm 69:1). Troubles beget troubles so that amid the inundation we cannot see the other side. But God did not forsake us. He assured us of His saving help. Our Lord does just that when we pray, "While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high. Hide me, O my Savior hide, till the storm of life is past."
God will stand by us also in the future. He will stand by His promises. This fact remains, "If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all--how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:31-32). So, when we, in the hymnist's words, "tread the verge of Jordan," we can bid "our anxious fears subside." In the end God will "land us safe on Canaan's side."
PRAYER: When the waves of adversity threaten to roll over my soul, Lord Jesus, stand by me and strengthen my faith. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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