“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire; he set my feet upon the rock and gave me a ﬁrm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.”
-Psalm 40:1-3 (NIV)
It’s been a week since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As the father of a kindergartner and a 2-year-old, I cannot imagine the terror, pain, sorrow, and questions experienced by the families, teachers and community as they deal with this incredible loss. As a nation, we mourn with the people of Newtown and lift them up in prayer.
As I watched Facebook and Twitter over the weekend something else became evident; our world is broken and in need of redemption. Our world is crying that injustice would be made right; that lowly would be raised up; that the most vulnerable in our world would be cared for. This is likely not news to you, but every once in awhile we are wakened from our slumber to realize the grip that sin has on our world and how desperately we need God’s grace through Jesus.
In Psalm 40, the psalmist writes about crying out to God for rescue. Whatever situation he is in, he describes it as being stuck in a slimy pit- the mud and the mire. When he cries out, God hears his cry, pulls him from the pit, and sets his feet upon solid ground. This act puts a song of praise in the mouth of the psalmist. The psalmist’s circumstances have been reversed. Salvation has come and given him new life and opportunities.
The season of Advent is more than counting down the days until Christmas- it is our anticipation when Jesus will return. When he will rescue us from sin and death. Advent is a time anticipating that Jesus will renew and redeem creation and wipe every tear from our eyes. That redemptive work begins now when we surrender our lives to Jesus and will be fully realized when Jesus comes back as he promised.
Today, maybe you’re mired in the slimy pit. It could be sin, fear, depression, anxiety, confusion, dealing with a loss, or even overwhelmed at the holiday season. When we cry out to God, we believe that God hears our cries, rescues us, and even turns our “mourning into dancing” (Jer. 31:13).
God of creation, there are times when we feel lost, alone, or apart from You. Hear our cries- the cries of our heart for salvation, redemption, and renewal. Send Jesus. Immanuel, God-with-us, to comfort, guide, redeem, and save us. Call and equip us to be people of Hope wherever you lead us. Help us to stand on the ﬁrm foundation of Your Son, Jesus- and put a new song of praise in our mouths. Come, Lord Jesus! Come! Amen.
Steve LaMotte is pastor at Hope United Methodist Church (www.hopedover.com) and Campus Minister at Wesley College in Dover, Delaware. He has been a speaker and worship leader at Delanco Camp. He is the husband to Andrea and father to Abigail and Chloe. He attempts to blog at www.stevenlamotte.me and tweets at @steve_lamotte.