After being jostled in the crowd in the stupefying heat of a north Indian city, my friend and I caught a shared motor rickshaw with about 14 other ladies. Being packed like sardines in the rick was better than fighting the crowds who were carrying idols through the streets. The word “cacophony” was made for this place!
This decade old memory flooded to my mind this morning as I was listening to today’s podcast of Crossway’s M’Cheyne reading plan of the Bible. (This is a post for another time, but I absolutely love listening to the Word this way!)
These words from Psalm 107.23-32 jumped out at me. Look at this:
23 Some went down to the sea in ships,
doing business on the great waters;
24 they saw the deeds of the Lord,
his wondrous works in the deep.
25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
which lifted up the waves of the sea.
26 They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
their courage melted away in their evil plight;
27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men
and were at their wits’ end.[b]
28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
29 He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad that the waters[c] were quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
31 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
After more than 40 years of reading the psalms, a connection hit me this morning: this not just figurative language extolling the greatness of our God. This actually happened!
Back to the rickshaw. My friend, a resident of this city, began to ask the local women about the festivities that we had just ducked.
“Oh yes!” the boldest among them declared, “It is a festival celebrating the birthday of our god. But it is so loud and crazy!” Then she asked a question I have heard more in India more than anywhere else in the world, “Which god do you serve?”
My friend answered, translating for me on the side, “My God is nothing like this. Why,” she continued, “One time He was in a boat, and a storm came up and his disciples were afraid. Jesus stood and told the winds, ‘Shanti.'” And the winds were Shanti–Peace.” And his disciples stammered, “What sort of a person is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” You can read the whole story here.
Look back at Psalm 107: They saw the LORD’s works, his wondrous works in the deep. He stilled the storm to a whisper, and the waves of the sea were hushed.” The Psalmist sang of Jesus in the boat!
Back in the rickshaw, the Bold One shrugged and replied, “Sounds nice, but, Oh, well! All rivers lead to the ocean.”
Oh, friend! That’s not right!
“Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things, and consider the LORD’s acts of faithful love! (Psalm 107:43)
Would you pray with me that the tumult of these ladies’ world would drive them to seek the only God? He is the One who can speak peace over their lives that one day they may “rejoice when the waves grew quiet.” (Psalm 107:30)
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