October 23, 2022

Seeking the Way Through and Beyond Nightmares

Pastor KJ Kim

Psalm 30: 4-11; Luke 18: 1-8

Nighttime is an odd time in human life, indicating that is why most children never want to go to bed. It is that time which we cannot manage, but people of faith are drawn to God as a source of safety when there is no other source of safety, and as a source of presence when the world feels absent.

Interestingly, many essential events in the scripture happen at nighttime. Especially, for instance, Abraham heard God’s voices at night. Jacob wrestled with the angel at night. The exodus of Israel from Egypt happened at night. Jesus was betrayed and sold into the hand of the enemy at night. Peter denied Jesus three times at night. And the resurrection of Jesus from the dead happened at night when no one saw.

In today’s passage, Psalm 30 is like a journal of two days and one night in the stressful reality and crisis of faith that is much needed in our time of seemingly great nightmare.

In the passage there is a twist that the author tells us about the night; not the daytime. All of a sudden, just as night came, right in the middle of verse 7, without explanation, trouble came in a way that we all have often experienced.

The passage, in verses 8-10, reminds us what to do while we are in the nightmare as people of faith. All we are called to do is to cry out to God by praying vigorously, to summon God, and to address God for urgent help, being faithful that even in the night, the God beyond all nightmares is reachable. Verse 10, calls God by name twice, and addresses God in heavy, weighty imperatives, “Lord, listen and have mercy on me! Lord, be my helper!”

What kind of nightmare are we wrestling with and suffering from?

Probably, the world still demands us to keep our mouth shut, and cope and pretend “it’s okay.” Well, that is why we need to visit and listen to today’s passages. As soon as we may carry our case to God, we may leave problem with God and we can go to sleep, confident that God would be at work even in the middle of the night, even in the presence of the nightmare.

When God overrides the nightmare, our whole life will become a dance of gladness, of endless praise, of endless thanks, of endless well-being, close to God, no longer dismayed. We are the ones who have a way through and beyond nightmares. The way is with a God who has power even in the night, and who hears and who acts and who responds.

All we have to do is to come to God boldly, fervently, and surely as the only source of help,
and to keep praying while we do not lose heart —“O God hear us; O God be gracious to us; and O God be our helper.”

Thanks be to God.