As a pastor, I often visit people in what would be described as troubling circumstances. I’m there in the hospital room with the sick and dying, or counseling someone hurt or angry or suffering. These situations can give the pastor stress, of course, but for the most part, it is exactly these situations where I see the blessings of my calling most clearly.
When someone is dying, it’s scary. It’s a difficult situation, certainly. But as a pastor knowing the truth of God’s Word, it’s also a situation where I have the best news possible to deliver: Christ has rescued you! He has redeemed you from all sin, from death, and from the power of the devil! Even death has no sting for the Christian, because Jesus has won the victory over the grave.
I remember going to the bedside of a certain Christian woman. She was in the hospital, mostly unconscious, and many family members were there. I came to do what I was called to do: share God’s Word. I remember I was struggling with what passage to use as a devotion with the family. In flipping through my book, (it was the Christian Worship – Pastors’ Companion, I think.) I came to Psalm 61. I knew that it was hard to go wrong with the psalms in a difficult time for believers, but I was surprised just how well God used this psalm in this situation. The family really benefited from it, and — believe it or not — I benefited a lot from it, too!
The psalm still gives me a lot of comfort and takes me back to that hospital room (but in a good way.) So, if you’ve read this far, read the psalm, too. Rejoice in how God uses his Word!
1 Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
a strong tower against the enemy.
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
may his years endure to all generations!
appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!
as I perform my vows day after day.