“Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” Psalm 95:1-2
A fellow North American mission worker once ‘chided’ me for sharing with him photos of healthy and happy children living in Haiti; wanted more of the downcast children. The verses from Psalm 95 explain the reason for the smile on the face of the child in the attached photo who attends the Lutheran school in Cap Haitian. I have heard this child ‘Shout’ and ‘Rejoice’ when asked if she knew of the Triune God and if she loves Jesus; not just a monotone ‘yes’ but an enthusiastic “OUI”.
There are times when we, and she, do not feel like praising God enthusiastically, and certainly not out loud. It seems too easy to focus on our hurts, pressure from this world and the vodou priest down the street. Doubt, fear, defeat and hunger become the enemies of joy and these can bring a suffocating bout of depression about. Consider the joy that this young girl now has and what her face reflected while still living under the chains of the vodou priest before coming to know Jesus. Think of how listless her eyes and smile were like before she began receiving daily nourishment from a Trinity/HOPE donor like you.
We all must be reminded to raise our hands and our head and look again at whom our Triune God is and what He had done for us. We must remind ourselves that He is our Savior, comfort, shelter, refuge and our strength. No one or thing can ever compare to our powerful and loving God. On the drive home recently, I listened to Randy Travis sing ‘Shout to the Lord’ and the words to that song, the face of that little girl and you came to mind.
“My Jesus, My Savior, Lord, there is none like You; all of my days I want to praise the wonders of Your mighty love. Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing. Power and majesty, praise to the King; mountains bow down and the seas will roar at the sound of Your name. I sing for joy at the work of Your hands, forever I'll love You, forever I'll stand, nothing compares to the promise I have in You. My comfort, my shelter, tower of refuge and strength; let every breath, all that I am never cease to worship You. Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing. Power and majesty, praise to the King; mountains bow down and the seas will roar at the sound of Your name. I sing for joy at the work of Your hands, forever I'll love You, forever I'll stand, nothing compares to the promise I have in You.”
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay