Day 34 of Lent, Psalm 40:
When my oldest son was 3, we had a run in with a rattlesnake. Even though it was almost 15 years ago, I can still see the whole thing in slow motion played out in my mind– the snake striking up out of the brush from the corner of my eye. I felt scared, panicked and soon, grateful. I experienced an adrenaline rush, like I have in other crisis moments, but at the same time I was also clear headed for action.
When we are desperate for our safety or someone else’s safety, we move. It doesn’t have to be an ordeal of life and death. We see someone hurting, or in great need, we want to fix it or make it better- a normal human response that God has given us. As people made in His image we feel the need to rescue or be rescued.
There is desperate situation I often overlook. (Well, there are too many to count since we live at a finger’s tip away from problems and tragedy around the world.) However, there is one always before me, wherever I go.
I can relate to the way David talks about his “pit” in Psalm 40: (Here is part of this Psalm with comments.)
I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He was desperate.
He brought me up from out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay.
God rescued him.
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
David was restored.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
He had a new life song to sing.
Many will see and trust in the Lord.
He had a story to tell.
I too (and all humans) was in a deep pit. The pit was so deep that I was stuck and had no way out. God knew and remembered me. The bible records God always remembering, and keeping His promises. My sin had kept me in the pit of spiritual death. Jesus came down to rescue me; entering the pit and offering to hoist me out of it. I discovered He was the only way out of it. He hoisted me out, so I could get out and stay out; and removing my sin and shame at the same time. When I looked back, He had taken my place. He stayed there, so I could go free. He rescued me.
Easter reminds us of this story. Jesus came because of this pit. But fortunately, on Easter we celebrate that He conquered the pit of death, rising from the dead.
Where are you? Are you still in the pit, needing a way to be rescued from the debt of sin, or has Christ hoisted you out of it? If you are out, what song are you singing? Are you singing the song loud enough and in such a way that others will “see and trust in the Lord?”
The Great Rescue
Some how, when the snake was about to strike, I sensed it. We were hiking on a trail in an area that was ”infested” with rattlesnakes (little did we know!). Just the kind of place you want to go on a nice, easy weekend hike with your family! I had possibly heard the rattle, but right before or at the same time, I felt this sense of urgency to pull Connor quickly and run (dragging him along in the dust). It felt like God intervened, saving us from the snake. The great rescue is about God intervening in our behalf.