July 24, 2013
O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with Him is plentiful redemption. Psalm 130:7
It was in May that three women made the headlines when they were, after more than a decade of being kidnapped, taken from the house of Ariel Castro.
Since then I have spent considerable time thinking about those ladies. I wondered just how messed up would a person be after having endured such an ordeal? Now, because of a videotape made by the three, there are some answers to that question.
One of the women, 32-year-old Michelle Knight, shared her thoughts. In part, she said, "I just want everyone to know that I'm doing just fine. ... Walking hand-in-hand with my Best Friend, I will not let the situation define who I am. ... " Ms. Knight added, "We have been hurt by people, but we need to rely on God. ... God has a plan for all of us. ..."
For me it was almost as if she had echoed the words of the Psalmist: "With the Lord there is steadfast love and plenteous redemption." Over the years I have heard a number of other people, people involved in terrible situations, say the same thing.
Although the circumstance and situation of their pains and problems differed dramatically, they all found that no matter how dark the news they had received, no matter how bleak their future appeared to be, no matter how many things seemed to be going wrong, the Lord's love had been given to them in equal and overflowing measure.
And if you're wondering what made the faith of these folks so special, I have a couple thoughts.
First, these folks had a major difficulty in their lives. If you had talked to them before that problem, they would not have seemed to possess a storehouse full of unused faith. No, the Lord gave them what they needed to handle the situation. By that I mean when their need increased, the Lord's presence and power did the same.
That's the first part of the answer.
The second part goes hand in hand with the first. For these folks Jesus was not just someone they read about in the Bible. For them His story was not long ago and far away.
On the contrary, for them Jesus was really present in their lives. Most certainly He was their Redeemer from sin, death and Satan -- the One who had given His life to win their salvation.
But Jesus was also very much present in their lives and in their sickrooms. Jesus was their ever-present Benefactor and Bestower of blessings.
All of this takes me to this simple truth: Jesus' care and compassion is not confined just to the lives of a few select people. He is willing to be there for all of us and help us through whatever nastiness life dishes out. This is why we can, like them, always "hope in the Lord."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that You, along with saving me for all eternity, will also give me what I need for every day. In Jesus I give thanks. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries