S (Scripture): Psalm 22
11 Do not remain far away from me, for trouble is near and I have no one to help me.
12 Many bulls surround me; powerful bulls of Bashan hem me in.
13 They open their mouths to devour me like a roaring lion that rips its prey.
14 My strength drains away like water; all my bones are dislocated; my heart is like wax; it melts away inside me.
O (Observation): This psalm is often applied to Jesus, as a foreshadowing of his suffering and death. In fact, Jesus utters the words of verse 1 of this psalm (“My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?”)
Given its original context (applied to King David while his enemies are pursuing him), the reader can sense the desperation in the tone of this text. The author (David?) truly feels despair, but trusts that somehow, God is still with him in his greatest moment of need.
A (Application): If we see a theme throughout the arc of Scripture, we see that God is with those who seem to be outnumbered and fearful. God is with the marginalized and oppressed. God wishes for all to call on Him, especially in times of need.
God doesn’t wish for anyone to feel outside of salvation, yet over time the Church (whether hundreds of years BCE, in the 1st century CE, or even today) finds ways to ostracize and build walls to separate the saved from the rest.
This doesn’t mean that I support “anything goes” in terms of holding people accountable for their actions. Rather, I mean to say that anyone and everyone is not far from salvation. From the best to the worst (only the Lord can judge this) we are able to call out to God to save us.
And sometimes, while down in that pit, when nothing seems to be going right, you just might find some gold buried down there. You just might find that friends call on you, or maybe you finally let your guard down and trust completely in the Lord, or someone calls you or sends you a card out of the blue. In those moments, may you know that God is with you, much more than we can be.
P (Prayer): Lord, pick me up when I am down. Amen.