Scripture: Psalm 107:1-32 (NIV)
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High. So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron. Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy. Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the LORD, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.
One of the things that The Clone Wars, the animated series mentioned a while back, was able to do that the movies especially couldn’t do was to tell stories about that three year time period. You could have an arc that focused on Anakin training his padawan, Ahsoka. You could have some that focused on Captain Rex or other clone troopers. They even had stories about the droids in the Star Wars universe. There were highs and lows, disappointments, excitement, betrayal, loss. Getting to see the different facets of the Republic (and, occasionally, the opposition) brought texture and depth to something that had just been briefly seen on screen.
We’re also seeing this with the “stand alone” stories that are being created now that Disney owns the Star Wars label. Rogue One was the story of a band of previously unknown rebels who made a huge difference. Other stories in that vein may come in the future. There are all sorts of different threads that make up this galaxy.
When you read this section of Psalm 107, you see the various stories of the Lord’s people as well. Most of them were harsh, wandering in the desert, hungry, needing shelter. They brought this on themselves with their sin, but the Lord was there to give them a happy ending. Time and again the people cry out to God and God is there to hear their cries and to give them what they need.
The stories of the saints–and, as a study we are doing at church now points out, that’s pretty much anyone that believes–are often amazing. From the outside looking in, we think that there are some prayer warriors or giants in the faith that have it all together. Yet their stories are more interesting, more fulfilling, more varied than what we might think. They’ve struggled and they’ve doubted, but they’ve been willing to trust in God’s mercy and goodness and they have been rewarded for it. They are still living the Christian life one step at a time, though. Nobody ever has it all figured out, some just trust God a little more than others.
What is your story? Is there a chance for you to share it with someone, whether a non-believer or a fellow Christian that needs a boost? Look for that chance and seize it!