Monthly Archives: January 2018

Thank You, Lord, for knowing the place where we will be placed.

“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord;
“I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
~Psalm 12:5 (ESV)

I am always excited when the various Scriptures I am reading interpret one another. The Holy Spirit becomes my teacher in a more tangible way for a time. A few weeks ago, I underlined the verse above and found myself reflecting on my longings and where God will place me in this new year.

Then I read in Exodus 2:23-25:  During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery  came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.

And I felt reassured that God saw me and knew not only my longings but also where I was to be placed. Then I happened upon what King David wrote about a place, and remembered that place is not only a verb but also a noun.

He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
~Psalm 18:19 (ESV)

In God’s kingdom, a broad place is not a normal place. It is a large space with enough room to turn towards God and more than enough room to grow in the grace and knowledge of God’s love. It is a place where we are transformed and can trust that God will place us in a place of safety.

Thank You God for knowing the place where we will be placed.

Thank you, Lord, for lifting up the light of your face upon us.  

There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
~Psalm 4:7

This year it has been hard to move into the new year. I have felt like Rudolph on a “foggy Christmas Eve” waiting for Santa to come and say something. Of course Santa never came, but the Lord did and whispered the words of Silent Night to me.

Silent night…holy night…Son of God, love’s pure light…
Radiant beams from thy holy face..with the dawn of redeeming grace..
Jesus, Lord, at they birth.

After that I stepped back into the Christmas story and asked God if I missed something this Advent. When the Magi came to mind, I decided to follow their lead.  With tremendous resolve these men followed not just any star but “love’s pure light” star, and at the manger they saw the holy child’s radiant smile beam back at them. Moreover, I think it was the dawn of God’s redeeming grace which empowered them to return home rather than to Herod.

The day after Christmas a dear friend died after a six month battle with cancer. In the midst of my grief, I have let God’s pure light gently guide the manger. It is there I remember my friend and all the prayers we prayed together. And it is there I pray my heart will see what my eyes cannot: the same radiant beams and redeeming grace that ushered my friend home.

In these moments at the manger the fog has miraculously lifted, and the grief feels manageable again. As I finally step into the dawn of a new year, I find myself grateful for my friend who showed me so much good, for so many years.  And I am thankful for the Son of God’s pure light that will guide us in the year ahead.

Thank you, Lord, for lifting up the light of your face upon us.