Rethinking History

March 5th, 2008 • Category: Think Different
by Tyler Connoley

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 34:4-10 (ESV-text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

Lucia Connoley.  Isn't she cute?My thoughts on this passage (Tyler Connoley):

Recently, a friend’s eighty pound dog, Henry, almost succeeded in killing my little eleven-pound Lucia. We were walking together and the dogs were playing when Henry suddenly lost his mind and decided that Lucia was prey instead of playmate. At one point, as Henry’s owner and I were struggling to pry his jaws apart, I thought I saw little Lucia die (she had passed out because he’d closed her windpipe with his bite). Later, on the way to the vet, Lucia began to rasp for breath and I again thought she would die in my lap before I could get help.

Lucia is expected to fully recover — no major arteries or vital organs were injured, just lots of bruises and lacerations — but I’ve found myself unable to get the images from that morning out of my head. One night, as I was lying in bed, unable to sleep because every time I closed my eyes I saw images from that horrible event, I remembered the promise of Psalm 34, that God is always with me and God’s angels encamp around me. I felt God tell me to re-imagine the images from that morning.

So, I went back in my mind, and I pictured God’s light around my friend and me as we struggled with Henry for Lucia’s life. I pictured angels holding our hands as we pried at Henry’s teeth. I saw God’s hand reaching down into Henry’s mind and releasing him from the instinct that had overtaken him, and allowing him to let go of Lucia long enough for us to get her away to safety.

One of the images I can’t get out of my mind is of me running to the car, with Lucia in my arms. Now, when I picture that scene, I see the angels that were running right beside me as I whispered my deepest desire, “Lucia, you’re going to be okay. Oh God! You’re going to be okay, little girl.”

I’ll never know how God and the angels actually intervened that morning. However, when I choose to picture them within those scenes that haunt my memory, I find Psalm 34:4 is fulfilled — God relieves me from my fears. I can face the next walk with Lucia, the next interaction with a big dog, with more confidence and less fear. With the Psalmist I can say, “Happy are those who take refuge in God.”

Thought for the day: What traumatic images haunt you? Can you allow yourself to revisit those images, but see God and the angels encamped around you? You may not ever know how God was with you in that situation, but you can trust God was.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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