Devotion - September 12, 2014
Hymn of the Week
For you have promised, Lord, to heed
Your children’s cries in time of need
Through him whose name alone is great,
Our Savior and our advocate.
And so we come, O God, today
And all our woes before you lay.
Be with us in our anguish still;
Free us at last from every ill.
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 413, verses 3-4)
There was a story on the news recently about a mother who had accidentally locked her infant son inside the car along with her keys and her phone on a hot summer day. She borrowed a stranger’s phone and dialed the emergency number. “My infant son is locked in the car,” she said when someone picked up, “It’s so hot outside … can somebody come?”
“Ma’am,” the emergency dispatcher said, “How is your son right now?” “He’s doing ok,” she replied. “Ma’am,” the dispatcher said once again, “We won’t send anyone unless the child is actually in some kind of distress.” And then the dispatcher hung up. A stranger eventually helped this woman by breaking the car window and rescuing her son. The woman thought she knew where to turn for help first in her time of need. It turns out, she was wrong.
That’s a painful feeling–to call on someone who has promised to help you in your time of need … and to be disappointed. But it happens so often.
Politicians break promises. Men and women disappoint their spouse’s marriage hopes. Parents disappoint their children. Employees don’t live up to expectations. Friends break appointments because something came up that was more important.
And every time someone disappoints a person by not being there in the way that person was hoping, they also do one more thing. They give reason to believe they won’t be there for that person again. They create room for doubt, which is a painful companion in your time of need.
A companion God knows you don’t want.
Consider Jesus. As he hung on the cross, he had the need of someone to be there for him, but no one was. Not because the one who promised to be there for him wasn’t, but because God was keeping a promise to always be there for you. Even as God watched his only perfect Son writhe in pain, he considered your need for comfort, hope, companionship, and forgiveness most important.
At the cross of Jesus, we see how true it is that God will be there for you when you cry out to him.
And in Jesus’ empty grave on the third day, we see something else. We see that we can trust him not only to “be with us in our anguish still,” but to one day overcome every need by raising us to a place with him where we will be “free at last from every ill.”
Dear God, thank you for your gracious promise to be there for us in our times of need. May we never fail to confidently cry out to you, knowing you will never fail to fill our hearts with peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
From September through December 2014, the Daily Devotions on Thursday and Friday are based on the Word of God expressed in a Christian Hymn selected each week. All devotions in this series are located here.
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