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Tuesday, February 23

Contributed by Andy the Bear

Psalm 77

“Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time?

The psalmist begins today’s song by looking back upon troubling times in
years past when the Israelites cried out to God, longing that God would hear a
desperate plea for aid. Had God abandoned the psalmist? Was this person
alone in the world?

Maybe you can think of times in your life when you’ve felt alone, even
abandoned and uncertain whether there was a future where God would bless
you? Several years ago, I was abandoned by a former resident at St.
Andrew’s Hall. After move-out in the Spring, Mihye Park came across me in
the hallway and, rather than discarding me, took me to the housing office.
Later that day, several of the staff came by to say hello and Ross gave me the
name “Andy the Bear,” with the official title of SAH mascot. From that day on,
I had a new purpose and identity.

The psalmist recalls in the darkest moments that God is a divine source of
rescue. The psalmist remembers God’s faithful presence with Israel as they
fled Egypt. “The waters saw you and writhed…the clouds poured down
water…your thunder was heard in the whirlwind…your path led through the
sea…though your footprints were not seen.” In a time of despair and
discouragement, God showed up and gave the people of Israel hope and
provided a way.

Are you feeling alone or abandoned during this season of Lent, in a time of
pandemic restrictions? Remember, our God is a rescuer, one who makes a
path forward where we cannot see the way. Through empty cradle, cross and
tomb we are adopted into a new family of faith, we are graphed onto Israel,
the Red Sea parted now becomes our story too. As 1 Peter 2: 10 says so
beautifully, “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of
God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
Thanks be to God.

Loving God, thank you that even when we feel discarded or forgotten in life,
you remind us through your living Word, Jesus Christ, that we are treasured,
valued and precious to you. Amen.

Andy the Bear is the Chief Public Relations Officer for St. Andrew’s Hall and SAH’s official
mascot. He can be found in the SAH staff room, reclining on the coach, and greeting everyone
as they go about their day.