The Psalmist wrote, “Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you and you will glorify me.” [Psalm 50:15]
Nowhere is this more evident than in the hospital. As society is opening again, hospitals are again allowing visitors, with certain limitations. Pastors can again bring comfort to those in distress.
One of my favorite verses for bringing comfort to those in the hospital is Psalm 130. This “song of ascent” begins, “Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD. O Lord, hear my voice.” Somehow, when in the hospital for injury or illness, you feel like you are in the depths. You pray, “O Lord, deliver me.”
We are fortunate in Slayton that we have a good hospital in town. Rural communities seem to draw the kindest and most considerate nurses — they know each patient, they are not simply names on a chart. This kindness is above and beyond that which you find in the larger cities where people become numbers.
I’ve had the pleasure of bringing the good news of salvation by grace through faith for the sake of Christ to several parishioners in the past week. They received an answer to their prayers, “O Lord, bring me comfort,” as they heard the Gospel and received the Lord’s Supper. It is God giving them hope, lifting them from the depths, using the pastoral office.
There can be no greater joy than to assure someone they have eternal life because Jesus Christ bore the guilt of their sins. While they are in the hospital, they are confronted with the reality of their sin, for all disease and injuries come from this world being twisted since the fall of Adam and Eve. Yet that sin is covered, for Jesus Christ suffered death that we might have life everlasting.
The Psalmist continues, “If You should mark iniquity, O Lord, who could stand. But there is forgiveness with You that You might be feared.”
Like John 3:16-17, this Psalm truly speaks of God’s complete and utter love, His mercy. Is there a better answer to the prayer for hope? To God be the glory.