December 18

Psalm 80:1-3

“Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.” vs. 3

When times got tough for the people of Israel they alway sent out a cry to God for help, and who can blame them? We do pretty much the same thing. When the situation is out of control and our future health or prosperity is threatened even agnostics will send up prayers for salvation. The phrase used by the psalmist, “let your face shine,” was a plea for God’s gracious intervention, a smile from on high. These same words are used in the benediction that closes worship in many of our churches Sunday after Sunday. We know from daily experience that smiles lift hearts and calm fears…even a smile from a stranger can be an inspiration on a rough day. What a blessing it is to get regular smiles from God, especially when we’re not feeling so good about ourselves and our prospects are dim!  It makes a big difference to know that the Lord of the Universe is on our side and wants us to know peace and wholeness. It’s not unusual during these days before Christmas to feel out of sorts. Some of us are facing the fruits of procrastination and we’re feeling pressure to get things done. Maybe today is the day to slow down and look for God’s shining face. It’ll show up in the most unexpected places and always our spirits will be refreshed. God really is a very present help in times of trouble.

Thought for the Day: Where have I seen God’s shining face?

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