Wednesday of Epiphany 3 – Psalm 27:1-9

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
    to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
    it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
    yet I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
    and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will lift me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
    be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
    “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
    Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
    O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
    O God of my salvation!

Irma was an every-Sunday sort of Christian. She had her favorite spot in the Bible study room and regularly sat right in front of the pulpit in Church, about half-way back in the large church where my father preached. She had a delightful and self-deprecating sense of humor. But she was relentless in her quest to know Jesus and listen to Him.

You would not think of her as a heroic figure. She was rather ridiculous at times, dying her hair red long into her retirement. But if you knew her and had listened to her stories of life, you might realize that she had faced her own version of “adversaries and foes.” Her long life had not been one of ease or of apparent victories. She knew loss, pain, and defeat. Yet, the Lord kept His promise to her. He heard her when she cried out, was gracious to her, and He answered her prayers. He did not hide His face from her or cast her off. He was and is the God of her salvation.

Irma is long since numbered among those who rest in Jesus. She is a treasured memory to me. I still laugh to remember her reaction to Solomon’s great harem in the book of Kings. She is far more than a memory to our Lord Jesus. She remains His daughter and friend, the object of his redeeming love. She sought His face, and He did not hide that face from her then or now.

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