We’re all different. Different in the way we dress, in the way we talk, in the way we live. Each of our personalities are different, our standards are different, our ambitions are different. These vastly different and yet, strangely similar lives are what make up our homes, our communities, our world. As unique as we are, there’s one thing that binds us all together: the blood of Christ. Scripture shows us that people from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, have a chance to be called HIS. Murderers have come to know our precious Jesus! Prostitutes and corrupt men have come to know our Jehovah! Even in this day and age, the most influential and renown atheists have come to “taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8) But how can this be? How can people so different, so far gone in so many different ways, come to know the same powerful, relentless Love of Christ? The answer: GRACE.
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Psalm 107 introduces 4 different groups of people to us:
- “Some wandered” (v.4)
- “Some sat in darkness” (v.10)
- “Some were fools” (v. 17)
- “Some saw the deeds of the Lord” (v.23-24)
Four different pasts. Four distinct paths. Four unique stories of redemption.
Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
till they reached a city to dwell in.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Some of us were lost. Some of us couldn’t find our way out of the desert. We had nothing to sustain us, nothing to lean on, nothing to hope in. We had no source of nourishment, but we were hungry! Oh, so hungry! And we were thirsty! Parched from the desert heat. When we had finally reached the end of ourselves, we cried out to the Lord and He delivered us from our distress. He led us, provided for us, and gave us a home. He sheltered us, protected us, and revived our souls. He lifted our drooping hands and strengthened our weak knees (Hebrews 12:12). He nourished us, yes. But He didn’t stop there. He SATISFIED our souls. He FILLED us with good things.
Note the escalation of this particular “redemption story:”
- Man was lost and far from God
- Man reached the end of themselves
- Man humbled themselves and cried out to God
- The Lord delivered man from their specific distress in the most fitting way
- Man thanked God for His love and providence
Fellow, former wanderers, what is our response to His deliverance? Do we praise Him because He is mighty to save? Do we thank Him for saving our souls? Do we glorify Him for His wondrous works towards us? Or has it only convicted us and “moved us” for a mere 3 seconds? Ours should be a continual thanksgiving; our should be a continuous praise.
To all those still wandering: Know that the Lord is near. Know that He sees you. Know that He cares. Stop relying on yourself. Stop letting your pride get in the way of turning to Jesus. Let Him help you. Let Him save you. Oh, how He longs to! Grace upon grace – that’s what He has offered you. Despite your sin, despite all your stupid mistakes, despite how many times you have failed Him, He forgives you. And not only does He show you mercy in that forgiveness, but He shows you grace by offering you an eternity you don’t deserve. An eternity with Him. Accept his mercy. Accept this “grace upon grace!” And as He pulls you out of the desert of your wandering, as He escorts you to a seat at His table, thank Him for His steadfast love. Praise Him for His wondrous works towards YOU.
And a wanderer you shall be no more.