Even When It Hurts: March 6, 2021

Even When It Hurts -- Lent 2021 Devotional Book

Read: Psalm 140

I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the poor and render justice to the needy. Surely, the righteous will give thanks to your Name, and the upright shall continue in your sight. I like the psalmist’s positive hope and the assurance that the LORD will make everything all right. From my early days our culture has encouraged me to look for a positive ending.
-Psalm 140:12-13

When I was a kid in grade school, there was a guaranteed good time to be had on Saturday, when our small town’s movie theater showed kid-friendly films – for nine cents! The movies were usually cowboy films starring virtuous western heroes – Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hop-a-long Cassidy, maybe The Lone Ranger with his trusty sidekick Tonto.

Whatever the storyline, some things were certain: that there would be bad guys who did bad things like rustling cows or robbing banks or being really mean and maybe even pulling out their six-shooters on virtuous folks. And our cowboy hero would, using only fair play, put a stop to their evil doings and restore peaceful order and joyful relief as he rode off into the sunset on his faithful horse… (Trigger? Silver? Champion?).

Children’s literature usually followed a similar trajectory with troubled times which ultimately came to a happy resolution. Isn’t that the way things are supposed to work? For when a TV show, movie, book, play, or story from a friend “warms the heart,” there’s a positive outcome to the dangers and troubles of life.

Maybe God agrees. Just as the psalmist must deal with terrible and cruel attacks from his/her enemies, Jesus must suffer at the hands of others. And then – the miracle. The death on the cross leads not to despair but to confidence that yes, THIS story – our story – has the happiest of endings. All happy endings echo our best story.

In the end, the psalmist rejoices, and – praise the LORD – so can we, because indeed, God will save his people.

Thank you, LORD. We believe that God is healing and restoring the world and that we are recipients of and participants in that restoration. Amen!
-Tom Worrell