Out of the depths of despair



House interior


Flooded street

Flooded street

January 16, 2011

Psalm 40

Marian Free

In the name of God who raises the dead to life. Amen.

Over the past fortnight, we have been bombarded with images of an unprecedented disaster. For most of us it is impossible to comprehend.

I imagine that many of us today are suffering from information overload and compassion overload. It is impossible for most of us to grasp the extent of the devastation and the fact that the catastrophe is continuing in other parts of the state and else where in Australia makes it even harder to come to terms with what is happening.

Just has it has been horrendous to watch the unfolding horror of the last week, so it has been amazing to see the countless acts of selflessness and generosity, the resilience and strength of those who have suffered, the care and efficiency of our Premier, our Prime Minister and Lord Mayor, the courage and endurance of our Police, our Emergency Services and our Defense Force as they have responded to the unfolding drama and have put into place both evacuation and recovery plans.

This disaster is absolutely unimaginable and the recovery will be a long, slow haul both individually and collectively.

However desolate the present and however uncertain the future, it is important to remember that we are people of the resurrection. We know that no matter how the bleak present looks there will be a new tomorrow. As people who believe in the incarnation, we know that God stands beside us in our darkest moments giving us hope, encouragement and the will to face tomorrow.

Let us take some time in silence to give thanks for those who have got us through and will continue to get us through this disaster

to remember before God those who have suffered unbearable loss and all those whose homes, livelihoods,  businesses and incomes have been affected by the floods.

To commit to the care of God all who have lost their lives.

Let us also take time to remember that we are disciples of Christ and consider how, in these present circumstances we may show whose we are – through our love, our confidence in God’s presence and through our generosity and our care for others.

Will you say after me Psalm 40 which seems particularly appropriate as so many of our brothers and sisters throughout the nation try to pull their lives and possessions out of the bog that their homes and businesses have become:

Psalm 40:1-5


1 I waited patiently for the Lord;

he inclined to me and heard my cry.

2 He drew me up from the desolate pit,*

out of the miry bog,

and set my feet upon a rock,

making my steps secure.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear,

and put their trust in the Lord.

4 Happy are those who make
the Lord their trust,

who do not turn to the proud,

to those who go astray after false gods.

5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God,

your wondrous deeds

and your thoughts towards us;

none can compare with you.

Were I to proclaim and tell of them,

they would be more than can be counted.





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