Patchwork Prayer

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.

“If we have any boast, it is not in our wealth or wisdom or strength. It is that we know the Lord. But an even greater boast…is that the Lord knows us. Here is our place to stand, our resting place.”¹

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

“I am afraid of insidious hands Oh Lord which grope into the darkness of my soul. Please be my guard against them.”²

When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.³

“Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him,
How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus
Oh for grace to trust him more.”

¹Stephen Smallman, Forty Days on the Mountain
²Flannery O’Connor, Prayer Journal
³Isaiah 43:1-2

God Hears Israel’s Groaning

I am afraid most of the time.
Most days.
All the days, really.
Israel has never been more relatable.

Distrusting, falling into fear
Every other minute,
Because imminent danger always seems stronger
Than past salvation.

I cling to this hope:
“During those many days
The people of Israel groaned
And cried for help.
Their cry for rescue
Came up to God.
And God heard their groaning.
And God remembered his covenant.
And God saw the people of Israel.
And God knew.”

Weakest of nations,
The least of these is Israel.

And yet
When they felt alone, abandoned,
God knew.
He knew and he never really left.
He knew and he stretched out his hand,
And through every obstacle,
Despite all their fears,
He made a way.

*Exodus 2:23-25