The snare is broken; we have escaped! Our help is in the name of the Lord.
—Psalm 124:7b, 8a
Sometimes our pilgrim journey is fraught with uneven and dangerous ground —the “desolate pit, the miry bog.” Sometimes we defy God and stray from the appointed path on purpose. Sometimes we fall, and must be helped to rise again. And sometimes we are caught in a trap, ensnared in a peril we did not see coming.
Here too, we must wait with patient hope for release. Struggling to free ourselves may only tighten the ropes, as animals desperate to escape steel traps or nets may make their injuries mortal.
Clearly, the author of Psalm 124, overwhelmed with relief and gratitude at his escape from his enemies, is under no illusions about who broke the snare: “Our help is in the name of the Lord!” he exults.
Slave-trader-turned-preacher John Newton knew the feeling: “Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come,” he wrote in his famous hymn “Amazing Grace.” “Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”
We thank you, rescuing God, for breaking and destroying all that would entrap us. Be with us, we pray, in all the dangers, toils and snares of our mortal lives. Lead us safely home at last.
Copyright ©2005 Deborah Smith Douglas.