"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest." Psalm 22:1-2
It has been more than a month of unrest to so many of us! Days of uncertainty, or days of hard and dirty work cleaning and stabilizing the buildings we have called home. Nights of exhaustion where the hours fly by far too fast or nights of sleeplessness because we have far too many questions and concerns that our minds cannot quiet themselves. It is times like these we turn to our God and pray the honest prayer as shared by the psalmist in Psalm 22:1-2.
We want to believe that God walks with us and somehow will shelter us from these kinds of days when our world seems to be drowning in muck and filth. In times when we do not know what will happen to us and our home, we turn with many questions to our God.
Rev. Gerald Roise
In the daily devotion put out by Lutheran Disaster Response, "New Every Day," we are reminded that the psalmist did ask the forsaken questions but then went on in that same psalm to remind us that the writer did not remain doubtful but asks God for help. In verse 19 the Psalm continues as the words speak the request, "Come quickly to my aid!"
Then even in the midst of questioning God the writer declares their trust in the Holy One: verse 22-23, "I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you. You who fear the Lord, praise him!"
While you and I are recovering from this disaster, we may have days of asking why and where is God? Jesus asked the same question as he hung upon the cross, but that encourages us also, to look for the blessings in each day and to find God in the goodness of others and the promises that he will be with us always.
Reflections, a mini-sermon written by Minot and area clergy, will appear each Saturday in The Minot Daily News. Clergy interested in writing a mini-sermon should contact Religion Editor Loretta Johnson at 857-1952 or Debbie Sandvold at 857-1950. The toll-free number is 1-800-735-3229.
One of our members whose home was flooded shared the story of the "Bethany Anniversary" yard sign. It was decided the sign would be left in the yard as the flood waters approached, indicating that the house may be empty, but not vacant; God would continue to look after that home. As the family returned this past week the sign was still standing, dirty, weathered but hugely promising to the family that returned.
We are God's presence to others that are hurting. The Ministry of Care group at church has been making contact with families impacted by the flood. This could take on many various formations depending upon the relationship that develops between the two households. It is so meaningful not to feel alone and it is our hope that this yoke with another family would help form that understanding that God does care and walks with us.
God does not forsake us, but asks that we be his presence to one another. "Listen, God is calling." He is calling for each of us to reach out to the rest of our hurting families. He will always be with us and desires for us to come unto him all who are weary and need rest.
The Rev. Gerald Roise is a pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church, 215-3rd Ave. SE, in Minot.