Coldest Nights

Photo credit here

S (Scripture): Psalm 12:1 Help, Lord, because the godly are all gone;
the faithful have completely disappeared
from the human race!
2 Everyone tells lies to everyone else;
they talk with slick speech and divided hearts.
3 Let the Lord cut off all slick-talking lips
and every tongue that brags and brags,
4 that says, “We’re unbeatable with our tongues!
Who could get the best of us with lips like ours?”

5 But the Lord says,
“Because the poor are oppressed,
because of the groans of the needy,
I’m now standing up.
I will provide the help they are gasping for.”

6 The Lord’s promises are pure,
like silver that’s been refined in an oven,
purified seven times over!
7 You, Lord, will keep us,
protecting us from this generation forever.
8 The wicked roam all over the place,
while depravity is praised by human beings.

O (Observation): The psalmist speaks from a place of despair once again. Yet hope remains because God makes a promise to feed and support the oppressed. And God’s promises are “tried and true.”

But what does a fulfilled promise from God look like? Is it something that appears out of thin air? Are God’s promises fulfilled through people? Perhaps it is both!

A (Application): Some people say that prayer works in this way: “Pray that hungry are fed. Then, go out and feed the hungry.” We can Pray and pray and pray…and maybe, by some miracle, God will answer that prayer. God has done this for many (as we see in Scripture). God can certainly work in this way.

And yet, I can’t help but feel called to step into action, because I have been given a willing spirit – at times a broken spirit, but a willing spirit, nonetheless. A spirit willing to serve those in need (and to learn from those seeking help). A spirit willing to speak up about injustices and encourage others to work towards justice. A spirit willing to encourage conversation and to even get in the public square to right wrongs and to feed and clothe those in need.

But in all of this, I know that God is who calls me to action. And as I look around our community of Murfreesboro, I see Christians, atheists, Muslims, B’ahi, agnostics…All coming together to serve one another…to walk with one another. And I am encouraged. The wicked will not win out. God calls all people from all walks of life to serve and encourage one another.

Today, my wife and I continue that work, by making some mashed potatoes for the local homeless women’s freeze shelter (opens when temps dip below freezing). Murfreesboro Cold Patrol facilitates these shelters through what it calls Coldest Nights program. They work with local law enforcement and volunteers who seek out some of the homeless to come in off the streets for a meal and a warm place to stay. Day shelters assist during the day time, but for tonight…in a cold and snowy Murfreesboro (with temps below ZERO), we work together to feed and house folks. Perhaps tonight, we will save a life. Or better yet, God might further open my eyes to become even more concerned and involved in getting to know more about these fine folks who have no place to lay their head at night.

P (Prayer): Lord, give me strength and a willing spirit. Amen.

Click here to learn more about the Murfreesboro Cold Patrol and the Coldest Nights shelter.

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