United Church of Christ

Goings-on and Come-uppances

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore. - Psalm 121:8 (NRSV)

In a decorative box on my dresser – full of tiny school pictures, long unworn jewelry, and miscellaneous souvenirs – there is a brown paper napkin with a note written on it, a word of assurance offered during a time of turmoil in my life. It promised the love and faithfulness of the writer, and it included a phrase from this psalm reminding me of God's love and faithfulness.

Sometimes I take that note out and read it, thinking of the day I received it, in the midst of shifts and changes that threatened my security and had me worrying about my future.

Sometimes I take it out and read it, marveling at how many ordinary days have gone by since then and giving thanks for the non-dramatic daily-ness of life.

Sometimes I read it when I wonder what God wants me to do next or how to use the gifts God has given me.

Sometimes I think of it when I have to face my errors and limitations and be humbled by them.

Whenever I hold that long-treasured note in my hands, I give thanks for the way God comes through no matter what in the world is happening, keeping hold of me day and night, my help in all things and all times – both when I am doing everything well and when I am failing to accomplish anything much at all. When I go out the door and when I come in again, I give thanks that God keeps hold of me.

Prayer
Loving God, keep on keeping me, I pray, through goings-on and come-uppances, from this time on and forevermore. Amen.

Martha Spong About the Author
Martha Spong is a UCC pastor, a clergy coach, and editor of The Words of Her Mouth: Psalms for the Struggle, new from The Pilgrim Press.

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