Scripture: Pslams 107:1-3, 17-22
I work in a retail business. One of the questions I ask hundreds of times each day is, “can I help you?” It is amazing what those four smple words can do for the sales in a retail business. I often see individuals walking around lost, looking but not finding, getting frustrated. Those four simple words seem to lift the burden they have off their shoulders. Sometimes they just need to be asked before they are able to hit the restart button so they are able to find it for themselves. Other times they need you to come along side them to find what they are looking for. There are even a few times where you may hve to help them through the process of understanding what they need.
Who ever would have thought that retail would become spiritual? We are often wondering around lifewith a glazed look on our faces lost inside ourselves, not knowng what to do. The children of Israel were like that in their desert wonderings. They complained that they didn’t have food, and the snakes came. They cried out for deliverence and the Lord provided salvation for them. God himself through Moses took them to what they needed.
This Psalm remembers that point in history. The writer remembers that their ancestors were lost and needed to find salvation. And that each generation needs to be reminded of the times where God provided help and hope. We become the “customer service” associates when we engage in that reminding process either in our own lives or in the lives of others.
One of the most powerful excersizes I engaged in, in my spiritual journey with Christ was a spiritual autobiography. It wasn’t a very deep literary work, but it gave me a chance to examine my life and those people in my life who helped me become who I am today. During that process I found how important my grandpa was to me. Now my grandpa probably wouldn’t say that he was very important in encouraging me to become a minister, but this man taught me things every day as I ran through the field to jump into the tractor to ride wit him. He shared life with me, if I wated to ride he was there to be with me. If I had a question he tried to give an answer, if he didn’t know he would simply say so and start singing a song or telling a joke.
The other thing I learned is that my little sister, who passed away when she was 10 years old, was and is still a great encouragment to my spiritual growth. Death is hard it causes us to question many things. But through my own personal greiving process I found God everywhere I turned. God became more than just a far off diety that gave us rules, but a friend who I cussed out and made up with.
I am not saying I am a saint, I have made more mistakes in my life than most people. The thing is, just as the author of this psalm states God does provide deliverence from distruction. He provides a way for us to turn our lives around and make the best out of a bad situation. Often the consequences remain from our actions but with God’s help we can find a way to get through it.
God created the entire universe and called it good. The story says that He placed humanity right in the center to enjoy His creation with Him, as they walked in the cool of the evening. God wants us to have a live filled with joy. So often we don’t know the differece between joy and pleasure. We want pleasure because it is more fun right away. Joy comes along with pain, endurance, and pleasure. Even in the garden the joy of the evening’s walk came after a day’s work.
Where do we find hope and joy? Who helps us see through the distress of our bouts with the snakes? How can you say to others “how can I help you?” to others so we can join with Christ in the redemption process. I encourage you all to engage in a spiritual autobiography and engage with this scripture as you remeber where God has helped you along the way.
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