Scripture Reading: Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37
Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to an inhabited town;
hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress;
he led them by a straight way,
until they reached an inhabited town. — 107:4-7
Have you ever driven into an unfamiliar area and, become hungry while watching the gas needle edge ever so much closer to that big “E” and begun to wonder if you will ever find a restaurant or service station? The first time I drove from Oklahoma to the east coast down I-40, I had never encountered so many trees blocking the view beyond the road. Oklahoma has a lot of wide open spaces in its landscape. The trees were beautiful but I could not tell where there were places to get gas or food. It was the first time that I had seen highway signs that gave some indication that there were actually places to eat, get gas, or spend the night up ahead. They were needed because I sure could not tell just from scanning the horizon. Now I think I might be lost if I forget my cell phone and do not have access to GPS coordinates that will guide me quickly to exactly what I need, most of the time.
Is that how Moses felt while wondering in the wilderness; how it feels to totally trust in God’s guidance? While we today may think we have the earth well mapped with locational directions a few clicks away, entering the territories of cultures and religions, differing systems of government and economies, and differing socio-economic neighborhoods can be just as daunting as being lost in the wilderness. All kinds of fears crop up: Fears of inadequacy to meet the challenges, fears for safety, fears for loss of self-esteem, and fears of change. We are living in a time of change that is probably more pronounced than the reformation or the industrial revolution. Technology and communications has advanced so quickly that we now can get a nightly report of how many new Ebola cases have occurred in what area of Africa since yesterday.
I am reminded of an old hymn, In Times Like These by Ruth Caye Jones
In times like these, we need a Savior
In times like these, we need an anchor
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
The Good News is that we have just such a Savior.
Prayer: We trust in you, O Lord, help our lack of trust. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.