Lenten Devotion 2019
But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, ‘You are my God.’
My times are in your hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love. (Psalm 31:14-16)
In your hands
To know salvation is to know a great and enveloping love surrounding, holding and filling you. It is to such everlasting love that the heart cries out and confidently declares, “My times are in your hand.”
Every hour of every day, past, present and future … “in your hands.”
I wrote a sermon using this phrase years ago when studying for pastoral ministry. Our professor assigned the task of writing a funeral sermon. I chose this text and wrote a funeral sermon … for my father, who was still alive at that time.
But he was failing. His health failed for years as post-polio syndrome wore him down to a crumpled, frail shadow of a man, whom I still love greatly as my tears attest. A small photo of the two of us is on my desk, right in front of me as I write.
I thought of my father’s days as I wrote that sermon years ago, a few lines of which I used when Dad finally passed. His days were bright until 29 when polio struck him down in a single day. All the days that followed, until we laid him to rest on a hillside outside our little town, were marked with more struggle than most ever endure.
At the end, when all strength had failed and the loneliness of dying weighed heavily on his heart, I marked his head with the sign of the cross and assured him that he rested in the arms of an everlasting mercy … who held every moment of every day he’d ever lived.
I wanted for him what I want for myself and every soul I have ever counseled, consoled or comforted: Know this, precious heart, everything you are, everything you lost along the way, everything you suffered and every joy that sparkled in your eyes—all of it—rests in the hands of an everlasting love. Now and forever.
Pr. David L. Miller