He Answered Me

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Not one of us escapes the occasional trials of life. These trials can seem to overwhelm us at times. We are often gripped by fears of self-doubt, or inadequacy. But we have something that we can lean on in those times; our faith. Our faith protects us, it anchors us in hope, and encourages us in love.

It is faith that allows us to pray with confidence, just as David does in Psalm 34 here. With faith we can say with David:

ʺI sought the Lord, and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free.

This lowly one called; the Lord heard,
and rescued him from all his distress.ʺ (Ps. 34:3,7)

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In faith we know that God’s love for us is true, full, and unconditional. In this faith we know that we can endure the trials that come our way. God does not leave us alone. As David says:

ʺThe angel of the Lord is encamped
around those who fear him, to rescue them.ʺ (Ps. 34:8)

We can count on this, but we must remember, too, that God wants us to be open to the help of our brothers and sisters. God has given them to us to rely on for help and encouragement. God works through them and through the Church in this world. If we are battered from all sides, we know that the Christian community is there to respond to us in our need. We know that our Christian brothers and sisters will stand by us and defend us, that they will listen to our fears and relieve them, that they will pray with us on our behalf. That’s what Christ asks of the Christian community.

On the other side of the coin, that is what God asks of each and every one of us who claim to be Christian. As a believing and faithful Christian, I must be there for my brother, or my sister, when he, or she comes to me for support and prayer. It is in this way that we come to know that Christ is among us, working through us, and healing us in this life. It is in this that we can say, ʺI sought the Lord, and he answered me/ from all my terrors he set me free.ʺ It is in our faith in God, the One who works in and through the world and through those who have faith in him, that we can say with David:

ʺTaste and see that the Lord is good.
Blessed the stalwart one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy ones;
nothing is lacking to those who fear him.

The Lord is the redeemer of the souls of his servants;
and none are condemned who take refuge in him.ʺ (Ps. 34:9-10,23)

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.