Ohhhhhh, October. Splendid blue skies. Crisp air warmed by the sun. Green leaves giving way to gold, orange, russet, brown. Season after season, God reveals the glory of His creation and the certainty of His provision.
This month’s verse offers the two things our souls need most year ’round: unfailing love and unending hope.
It’s okay to make things simple. God does. Look.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you. Psalm 33:22
Just sixteen words, but wow. Notice how, before He asks anything of us, our faithful God goes first.
May your unfailing love… Psalm 33:22
It’s an invitation. Even more, an expectation. Whether we say “may” (CSB) or “let” (ESV) or “show” (EXB), we are fully prepared for God to come through for us, because He always does.
What He is offering us here is hesed — a rich Hebrew word translated in lots of ways, all of them more beautiful than the brightest autumn day.
We revel in His “steadfast love” (ESV), which cannot falter. We embrace His “covenant love” (EXB) as promised in His Word. We delight in His “loyal love” (LEB) that never leaves us or forsakes us. We receive His “gracious love” (ISV) that provides a remedy for sin. We bask in His “constant love” (GNT) that will not waiver. And (my favorite word) we celebrate His “lovingkindness” (ASV), which often flows through the hearts of His people.
This Fall I’ve experienced an outpouring of His unfailing love like never before — thanks to you. Since I shared my diagnosis of endometrial cancer on Facebook and in print, your cards, letters, gifts, emails, tweets, comments, and especially your prayers — dear friends, your love for God and your kindness to me have brought tears to my eyes again and again. I can never thank you enough.
Meanwhile, my BFFs here in town have found creative ways to get around my insisting, “I’m fine! Don’t need a thing!”
Early one morning, Elizabeth J. slipped into my darkened hospital room, bearing an extra-hot Venti Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks. When she found me tucked beneath the covers, she quietly put the tea where I could find it and whispered, “You’re in good hands, Liz. The Holy Spirit is all around you.” Even as she spoke those words, He affirmed His presence with His peace. Oh, glory.
When I came home from the hospital to find our fridge empty, another friend, Elizabeth H., texted me describing a mouth-watering dinner she was making for her family. “Be right over!” I texted back in jest. The next day, she appeared at our door with all the scrumptious leftovers, from salad to dessert. Who does that? A friend who won’t take no for an answer.
Sometimes when we think God isn’t near or doesn’t care, we can look at those who are near and do care, and realize they are God’s hands and feet, delivering tangible proof of His unfailing love.
…be with us, Lord,.. Psalm 33:22
This is what God does for us that truly boggles the mind: He is with us. All the time, whether we are aware of Him or not, whether we acknowledge Him or not. His Word promises He will “be over us” (CJB) and “surround us” (CEB) and be “upon us” (KJV), such that “we experience” (NET) Him in the here and now.
Like the day my friend Fifi came over to rub my feet, which were aching from chemo-induced neuropathy (it’s a thing). In 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path, I share another foot-rubbing occasion that was painfully awkward for me. So you can imagine how hard it was to say, “Sure, come on over and massage my feet.” But I did, and she did, and it was holy and sacred and beautiful.
Yes, they were Fifi’s hands, but it was God’s touch. This is how He shows up. This is how He ministers to our needs.
And the nurse and hospital secretary who appeared in my little pre-op cubicle just before surgery? I knew they were believers and asked if they would pray for me, thinking they’d do so on their own. You know, maybe later. Nope. They pulled the curtain shut and prayed right then. Tenderly. Fearlessly. Who does that? Two women who love Jesus.
…even as we put our hope in you. Psalm 33:22
This is what we bring to the table, beloved: our hope in God. He goes first, loving us, surrounding us, making it possible for us to declare with confidence, “our hope is in you alone” (NLT) because “we depend on you” (CEV) and “we have waited for Thee!” (YLT).
It’s in the waiting we discover His strength. It’s in the hoping we see Him answer our prayers.
Two contemporary paraphrases perfectly capture the bold and beating heart of this verse:
“Love us, God, with all you’ve got—that’s what we’re depending on.” Psalm 33:22 MSG
“O Eternal, drench us with Your endless love, even now as we wait for You.” Psalm 33:22 VOICE
Thank you, Lord, for making things simple. And simply wonderful.
A super-quick update: I’ve finished my three radiation treatments and have four rounds of chemo to go. So far, so good. I’m sleeping more than usual and have weathered a few less-than-lovely side effects, but otherwise, your Lizzie is going strong, thanks to your prayers! Here’s where I’ll be speaking in the months ahead.
So many of you pre-ordered 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path, we had to create additional goodies! Samson and I did our best to get everything in the mail in a timely fashion. Not ordered your copy yet? Visit your favorite local bookseller or find it on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, ChristianBook, Books-a-Million, LifeWay, and ChristianAudio.
Bless you for opening God’s Word with me today!
Your sister, Liz