When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouth was filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. – Psalm 126
Sometimes we are placed into situations which make us feel desperate and all alone. Those are moments when we need God to rescue us. We need Him to intervene and place us on a solid footing.
During 2019, after the passage of Hurricane Dorian through the northern Bahamas, the people of Abaco and Grand Bahama felt destitute. Many of them had experienced loss. They had lost loved ones, homes and precious personal valuables.
In the chaos and calamity, many of the residents of Abaco had to be relocated to New Providence. I stood on the dock as the boats came in from Abaco and saw defeat in the eyes of many as they came ashore. Like the captives from Israel, they, too, felt that all hope for them was gone. They had lost so much and felt defeated.
This psalm is the word of comfort that we all need in times of crisis. The captives from Israel and the people of Abaco had their crisis and the Lord returned them to their homeland. I experienced the joy the psalmist spoke about as some of those people of Abaco returned to their homes.
Yes, the Israelites who were taken captives to a foreign land had been gone so long, they thought they would never see their homeland, Zion, again. They subsequently felt that God had abandoned them, and some gave up on the Lord. However, God remembered their plight and gave them a reason to smile, to laugh and to shout for joy. The Lord returned them to their beloved homeland in Zion.
Likewise, He did the same for the people of Abaco. Many who were very despondent and sorrowful, without hope, when they left in 2019, have since returned to their beloved island.
Today, most of those people who had left their destroyed and severely damaged homes have since returned to refurbished and reconstructed homes. The God of all grace and mercy has heard their cries and has restored them. He sent good Samaritans who helped them and made it possible for the impossible to be possible.
Being desperate is a place that many of us have found ourselves at times in our lives. I know that there were times when I have been in some situation in which I did not see hope.
Yet, during my darkest hour, God came to my rescue and brought me out of my dilemma.
Out of darkness and gloom, God gave me light and hope.
Like the captives returning home to Zion, my rescue was like a dream come true. As I experienced the grace of God, I had to pinch myself to determine that I was not dreaming.
God did not abandon the captives from Israel nor the people of Abaco. They both went away from their homes in tears and sorrow. However, God made it possible for them to return to their homes with shouts of joy.
Whatever your dilemma today, God has a plan for you. He can take your worse day and turn it into joy and happiness. Therefore, do not be dismayed. There is hope for you and all who place their faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: email@example.com; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.