November 05, 2019

December 4th Advent Devotion


If the Lord hadn’t been for us—
    let Israel now repeat!—
if the Lord hadn’t been for us,
        when those people attacked us
then they would have swallowed us up whole
        with their rage burning against us!

Then the waters would have drowned us;
    the torrent would have come over our necks;
then the raging waters would have come over our necks!

Bless the Lord
    because he didn’t hand us over
    like food for our enemies’ teeth!
We escaped like a bird from the hunters’ trap;
    the trap was broken so we escaped!

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
    the maker of heaven and earth.

— Psalm 124

We are three weeks from Christmas Day. If you are like me (who am I kidding, most of the work of preparing for anything at my house falls to my wonderful wife) preparations are kicking into high gear.

Candy and cookies need to be made, gifts purchased and wrapped, cards addressed and mailed, and the house needs to be cleaned and decorated. There is lots to do and at this point it looks like it will not all get done. That doesn’t even begin to address all of the work we need to finish before the end of December.

At first glance it can seem overwhelming. While getting ready for Christmas can seem overwhelming, it is definitely a first world problem. People everywhere dream of having such problems. There are people around us who are dealing with a wide array of problems. Those difficulties are many and varied. At some point, we all feel overburdened and wonder where we will find the strength to take another step and in total exasperation, we will cry out help!

When Beth gets to that point, (sometime next week I figure) I know it is time to do something other than my standard stay out of the way technique. What about folks surrounded with real difficulties?

In the Psalm today David reminds us that God has been with us through thick and thin. God has not allowed us to be turned over to our enemies. We have escaped because of God. So often when we are doing well or overcoming something, we try to take the credit. David reminds us of a simple phrase many of us learned many years ago, to God be the Glory. We persevere but by the grace of God. Help is already here, and we are being blessed.

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for being with me in times of need. Thank you for being the help that I need, when I need it. Amen.

By: Rev. Ronald Carlson