It hit me while reading Psalm 107. My life…our lives…can be broken down into three broad categories. As I’ve thought through various seasons, every single one of them falls under one of these…
And in that order, no less. Every single time.
Psalm 107 highlights four different groups of people…all of whom have gone off the rails for some reason…some because of internal problems (self-caused), others because of external problems (circumstance-driven).
They all find themselves in a “Crap!” place. So they cry out to God…”Help!” The exact “help” words (in the Message version) are, “Then you called out to God in your desperate condition.” I can relate to those words, except my cries out to God often aren't that eloquent...and they sometimes include cuss words...but I digress.
And God responds...
Each time, in his tender and gracious and merciful ways, He answers...here are the words (in the NLT version of the Bible) used to describe God’s responses to the four groups…
· He rescued them from their distress
· He saved them from their distress
· He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom
· He sent out His word and healed them
I love how these responses are summarized in the Message version of the Bible. The same words are used for God’s response all four times. It simply states, “He got you out in the nick of time.” What a great line. Man, I can relate.
And their response to God all four times is…”Thanks!”
The way the response is written in the text (Message version) all four times: So thank God for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
No question our intent (as human beings desiring to be better human beings) is to decrease the number of times we have to yell, “Crap!” But, we are human…and it will happen…and what an awesome model we have in Psalm 107. Maybe we can measure our growth as we begin to live in the “Crap!” phases for shorter periods of time…because as we grow, we learn that surrendering and turning towards God in our cries for “Help!” begin the healing and learning and growth process. So we still get there, but we choose not to stay there.