Psalm 116:4-7 Then I called on the Name of the Lord: "O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!" Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, He saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
"Mom! Mom! Are you there!? Mom!"
I ran out of my room at the top of our rather steep second-story steps to the sound of mounting panic in my five-year-old son's voice. This time he was attempting to slide down the banister that is fixed only a few inches from the wall and had gotten his leg stuck. He had one remaining toe holding him on the step and nowhere to go but down!
Despite images of what might have happened if I had not reached him in time, I couldn't help but laugh. This boy's insatiable desire to try life from every angle is one of my favorite things about him! And while I certainly have my crabby moments as his mother, I also delight to save him from danger and help him discover ways to experience life to its fullest.
In this psalm, David gives voice to his own experience of being rescued. He sings the praises of a son who, free to explore, has been pulled back from the edge by his parent's loving embrace. His testimony here bears witness to God as a gracious parent. This is the same God, our Heavenly Father, who spared not His own Son, but gave Him up for us all (see Romans 8:32).
Some of us never knew the security of loving earthly parents and are tempted to read this passage with the old fear and shame experienced when needing to be saved. Even those of us with great parents know that they (and all of us) fall woefully short of God's perfect parenting. So, it's easy to imagine God being grumpy, disappointed, and disapproving when we yet again need help.
But that's not the kind of God we have.
Zephaniah 3:17 says, "The Lord your God is in your midst, a Mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing." This is not a begrudging God! This is a loving Father who delights, much as I did in that moment with my son, to intervene for our good.
What a joy to know that rather than berate us for our shortcomings and our failures, we have a Savior who is merciful, patient, an understanding of our weaknesses, because He has been like us.
As the writer of Hebrews says, "For surely it is not angels that He helps, but He helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brothers in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people" (Hebrews 2:16-17).
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, as the bumps and bruises of life tempt us to be silent in our troubles, please remind us to call out unashamed for Your salvation, again and again, knowing that You are for us -- always. In Your Name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by AmyRuth Bartlett.
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