S (Scripture): Psalm 107
13 They cried out to the Lord in their distress; he delivered them from their troubles.
14 He brought them out of the utter darkness, and tore off their shackles.
15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his loyal love, and for the amazing things he has done for people!
O (Observation): Because of it’s poetic nature, you can tell that this text is from the Psalms. The Psalms, at times, portray universal sentiments – emotions and thoughts that can be applied to any of God’s people across time and space. This Psalm supports the idea of a universal application to all of God’s people throughout time. While the specific suffering and hope of the psalmist came about through a particular set of circumstances through a particular person (or people), today’s reader can tend to relate to the psalmist and apply the suffering or hope to his or her own life struggles.
The cry of suffering here is a universal one. God’s response is a universal response, but with specific circumstances.
A (Application): We don’t deserve the love we get, but God is willing and ready to dole it out.
I remember being in a financial difficulty in seminary. We were basically living off of our credit cards and loans. Then, we moved to my first call as a pastor. We purposefully chose to live mainly on one income, so Kelly could help with the children at home.
I remember crying out to God. We were paid well enough, but we still felt the pinch. Then, my father-in-law introduced us to Dave a Ramsey and my assistant to the bishop in my area pointed out Consumer Credit Counseling services in the Atlanta area. We got a great 1-2 punch of getting out of the immediate financial crunch (thanks to the credit counseling services) and learned how to better plan out our spending going forward (thanks to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University – we used the online version).
My wife and I cried out (metaphorically speaking…it would be a little over-dramatic to stand, hand in hand, looking to the sky and literally crying out : )
God answered. Sometimes the help we receive can be seen as coincidence. In this case, however, Kelly and I see the help we received as acts of God – God working through particular people.
And the best part is that we are now witnesses of God hearing our call and answering. We know it doesn’t always work out this way, but it did in this case.
We cry out. God answers. We just won’t always like the way the answers come.
P (Prayer): Lord, we thank you for listening…help us to be thankful for your response. Amen.