But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. – Psalm 9:18
In 1989 a devastating earthquake flattened the country of Armenia, killing over 30,000 people in less than 4 minutes. In the midst of the confusion that followed, a father left his wife securely at home and rushed to his son’s school, hoping for the best but fearing the worst. When he arrived, he discovered to his horror that his son’s school had been flattened by the massive earthquake.
While surveying the rubble, he remembered a promise that he had made to his little boy. “What ever happens, I’ll always be there for you.” The situation looked hopeless, but he just couldn’t take his mind off that promise. He remembered that his son’s classroom had been in the back right corner of the building, so he rushed to that spot over there and started digging through the rubble. Other grieving parents arrived, crying for their children. Some tried to pull the man from the rubble saying, “It’s too late! They’re dead. You can’t help.” Even a police officer told the grieving Father to go home.
But courageously he proceeded alone because he needed to know for himself whether his boy was dead or alive and because of his promise. “No matter what, I’ll always be there for you.” He dug for 8 hours, then 12, then 24, then 36. Finally, on the 38th hour, he pulled back a large boulder and among the remaining rubble, he heard his son’s voice. He screamed, his son’s name”
The little voice answered him, “Dad, Dad, it’s me.” Then the boy added these priceless words: “I told the other kids not to worry. I told them that you would save us because you promised Dad. You promised me that no matter what happened you’d always be there for me. You did it. You did it, Dad!”
This Psalm is a trust in God’s promise, that even in this turbulent world, God offers to us in Himself a sanctuary of refuge. Psalm 9:9 “The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble.” How different our fears and worries would be if we learned to trust our Heavenly Father like the boy in the earthquake trusted his father. Oh that we too would take God at His word.