What Yet Will Be
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb. Psalm 126:4
A traveler in the desert finds channels where water once coursed. Under relentless heat, carved into parched terrain, those erosion marks help the traveler to think and to feel.
For a sufferer in pain, or for a community in grief, this image sets out for them the way of prayer. Right now, they hurt. Right now, they’re desperate. Right now, we’re empty. We don’t have any words to begin. But etched in the hard rock of right now are traces of what has been before, and what yet will be.
The name of God touches home to that rock. Other people who called out to that name have been here. Their hearts, too, were etched and dry and burning. Their hearts, too, yearned for relief. Words and actions they left for us we pick up again in our mouths, take into our body’s posture. Let these praying words reach out forward and back to show us the channels that will not remain empty forever.
There are other voices echoing in the empty terrain. Cries of despair, words of bitterness yearning only to destroy. Destroy, hide, die, or rise above all suffering in a fantasy of power. But our traveler in the desert, Jesus Christ, prevailed. Christ took up again the words of the Hebrew people and remembered their faithful God. With assurance, Christ guides our way and blocks out the tempter. It’s in the name of Christ who knew all temptation, death, and pain, that we enter into the psalms and make them our prayer.
Restoring God, through Christ we remember you, even though right now we hurt. You are a faithful God. Your life will flow in us and bring to others your healing grace. Amen.