One time, late into the night, I was awoken by one of my daughters calling out to me. Now, all of my kids from the time since they were little would call out to me; Dad, daddy, pops (that’s what my son tends to calls me), father (Jess likes to throw in the father title with a little British accent), but most of the time it’s just dad. So yes, over the years I have been beckoned, addressed, spoken to, and summoned to by the familiar title associated with my relationship to my kids as dad. But this night it was not so much the title or words that woke me up from a deep sleep, it was the tone and volume that woke me, my wife and my son (a dad in training). It was a tone of fear, more like terror…DAAAAAAD! It launched me out of my bed fumbling for my glasses. As I make my way towards her room she blurts out, “there’s someone outside my window calling my name”. Josh, with fire in his eyes shot past me to go around back. I went out the front, both with adrenaline pumping through our veins ready to protect and defend.
See, it was not just the words she said, but the true cry from her heart that she was scared and needed help, right now. She was expressing her feelings and her tone of desperation and fear jolted us to pay attention and our love for her moved the whole family to action.
I thought about this as I came acrossPsalm 143. Listen to verses 7:
Psalm 143:7 7 Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
King David wrote this Psalm and was going through one of those times where he had messed up. His plight was more from his sin and choosing not to follow God’s way, yet out of desperation he cried out to God. Here a man used to be close to God was feeling the distance of choosing to turn his back on God and go his own way. Now God never leaves us (seeHebrews 13:5), but we do feel distant from Him when we choose to not live life His way, like turning our back on Him.
Now, what is interesting is in the very next verse of Psalm 143:
Psalm 143:8 8Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
David was not so much looking for a change of his dismal circumstances (read the whole psalm to get what David is experiencing), but David was looking for assurance that God loves him, because regardless of the circumstances David still had faith in God. Sure, David asked for guidance, but was not expecting an immediate solution.
Yes, there are times that life terrifies us; sometimes it is a result of what others have done to us, or a natural disaster, or a disease, or even by us making poor and bad choices, yet we can call out to God and He will bring words of His unfailing love:
Jeremiah 31:3 3The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
1 John 4:10 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg of ‘words’ from the Bible that God loves you! But have you really put your trust in God like David? If so, great! Keep growing in that trust. If not yet, why not try? God is trustworthy. I know, I have experienced it, and my prayer is that you will too. Cry out to the Lord and I know He will bring words of His unfailing love.
Oh, about that night, we didn’t find anyone lurking in our back yard, but we pulled in sleeping bags and finished out the night all sleeping in Kristi’s and my room, with my hand on the field-hockey stick I have in my closet…just in case.
Trusting in God’s Unfailing Love with you,