Magnificat: December 9, 2019

He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might does one prevail. – 1 Samuel 2:9

I was betrayed by a friend. It happened years ago. The details aren’t important, but I was betrayed and left for dead. Darkness surrounded me on all sides; there was no light to be seen or perceived. It was such despair that the platitudes of God always being there – footprints in the sand – God being on the side of the righteous – none of that mattered.

None of that “God is there even when you don’t see him” would be true for me until I reached the end of that part of my journey. It wasn’t until I had hit the other shore that I could look back and see that God, indeed, had been there. But if you had told me that in the midst of my grief, the midst of my travail, I would have made some unsavory suggestions of what you could do with your platitudes and good cheer. Despair frightens all of us, with good reason, but we should not sugar-coat it, hide it, or deny it. It is a critical part of the human experience – the detritus out of which the real presence of Christ can grow.

It isn’t until one is past the night that one can see the dawn begin to break. I kept the faith, not because I had any, but because God kept it for me. That allows the prayer of Hannah to become the prayer of my heart.

God, you guard the feet of your faithful ones. Even if we don’t feel it or believe it, you guard us all because of your great love. When our lives grow dark, be there with us. We do not need the light as long as we are held in your warm, strong embrace. Let us not worry about prevailing, but about staying deep within your soft hands! Amen.
-Keith Axberg