God said, “In distress you called, and I rescued you.” Psalm 81:7

But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength. 2 Timothy 4:17

It’s fun on these lovely summer days to sit and watch kids playing on the swings and slides at the local parks. Usually they are happily swinging and climbing and jumping. Sometimes, there is anxiety and fear about falling off, or getting to the top of the slide and not wanting to slide on down. Then parents, or older siblings, are there to help. They are there to support the child, encourage them to try sliding, or just lift them off and give them a hug.

Psalm 81 is a song of praise, probably written for a festival like Passover. After verses praising what God has done for them, the psalmist tells us God says that He is there for His people, just as He has been in their travels from Egypt and settling in their land. They just need to call on the Lord and He will rescue them.

We often have times where we are in trouble, or in distress as the Psalm says. Things aren’t going well; we have to do something yet are fearful of taking an action. It helps to have the support of others who can stand with us. In 2 Timothy Paul laments that everyone has deserted him. “No one came to my support, but everyone deserted me,” is what he writes in verse 16.He even calls out, in verse 14, one person who did him, and his message, great harm. But, the Lord stood with Paul, and gave him courage. The end of verse 17 says that this enabled Paul to continue to speak the message of the Gospel and to have all the Gentiles hear it.

Dearest Jesus, when we can no longer stand, you are there to hold us up. Dispel the fear from our hearts and strengthen us, so that we may once again walk on our own. May we not forget that you are always there to catch us. Amen.

Chris Gabel