Something I discovered unintentionally, and with some concern:  An effective way to see where one’s hope is placed, is to see what disappoints.

    –> Concern, because it showed I was putting my hope in things I ought to have known better than to trust in, by now.  I suppose this is not unlike my slowness-to-learn in other areas, such as the years it took me to realize dinner must be served, every night.   You would think this sort of thing would be obvious, but some of us are slow this way.

    This morning’s first reading offers a correction:

    I, the Lord your God, I am holding you by the right hand; I tell you, "Do not be afraid, I will help you."

    And then continues with a funny consolation:

   Do not be afraid, Jacob, poor worm, Israel, puny mite.  I will help you — it is the Lord who speaks —  the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer.

    This is good.  Compared to the kind of help that sometimes get offered, the sort that goes, "If you would just ____________, then God would . . ."   Yes, well, I don’t just ________.  I need the poor worm and puny mite kind of help, thank you very much.

      
   
    The other thing I was thinking about this morning is the psalm (which I am too lazy  busy to look up right now) that goes along the lines of, "Some trust in chariots and horses, we trust in the Lord".   

    Something that had always bothered me about the psalms in this genre, is that the Lord doesn’t always come through and defeat the enemy’s chariots and horses.  You can trust in the Lord and still get trampled.  And then this morning I realized that the promise isn’t that you will get what chariots and horses have to offer — you will get what the Lord has to offer.  Which, in the end, is the peace and happiness and joy and comfort of an eternity spent in the presence of God; but, in the meantime, yes there may be some amount of trampling in the process of getting there.

    But not to worry; any trampling is a temporary inconvenience, on the way to something much much better.  Miserable while it is happening — our Lord gives the example of how to manage, with not only prayer but a certain amount of weeping and pleading and sweating of blood — but in the end, yes the Lord will redeem us, and even we of the wormy and mite-like persuasion can trust in Him.

***

    On an very indirectly related note, I feel the need to observe:  PBS’s Curious George show has been a really good friend to me.

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