Encountering God

O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want. The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all. Psalm 34: 8-19 (NRSV)

Rosario "Roz" Picardo lives in Ohio. During his senior year of college, all was well in his world. He planned to go to seminary and to marry his college sweetheart. But then she broke up with Roz. A few days later his Marine Corps Reserve unit was activated to go to Iraq, and he was told to be ready for an 18-month deployment. At the same time, he had a delay in receiving his commission as a Navy chaplain.

Roz felt rejected and alone, so he got on his knees and prayed. Right after praying, an idea came to him - he could work with his professors to accelerate his graduation before going to Iraq. By the grace of God, Roz was able to graduate early, he was accepted to seminary, and shortly thereafter received his commission as a Navy chaplain. Then his Marine Corps Reserve unit called to tell him that his position for deployment wasn't needed.

We all experience rejection and loneliness. While David was on the run from Saul, he must have felt rejected and lonely (see 1 Sam. 21-24). However, in today's reading, we see that David's relationship with God reassured him that God had not forsaken him but was close and wanted him to have salvation. And the same is true for us.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to follow your example and draw close to God, even when it seems like our world is falling apart, in Jesus' name, amen.

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