When the poor one called out, the Lord heard, and from all his distress he saved him.

After a busy day in which you “had a million things to do,” you might have come to dinner exclaiming, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!” Those million tasks and that horse, of course, are exaggerations.

But it is no exaggeration when the psalmist declares that God saves us from all our distress. Granted, as today’s first reading (2 Corinthians 11:18, 21-30) shows, God didn’t save Paul from whippings, beatings, stonings, shipwrecks, and other dangers. Still, Paul knew that God heard him every time he called out—even in the midst of his sufferings (2 Corinthians 11:30).

God is our ever-present help. He walks with us through distress. He has not promised a trouble-free life, but he assures us of his help. By his Spirit, he empowers us to deal with the problems, the dangers, and the worries that come into our lives. He doesn’t cause the troubles that come into our lives, but he will save us from crumbling under the weight of them. He promises to give us hope to keep taking the right steps in any distress we face.

Most of us won’t face torture or shipwreck, but we all have troubles. Making the rent each month, facing frightening medical diagnoses, watching a loved one suffer and die—yes, you have trouble in the world. You also have God’s assurance that you don’t have to surrender to fear because he will be with you. He is a loving, faithful, and powerful Father.

God does not cause your distress any more than he caused St. Paul’s. And he will sustain you just as surely as he sustained St. Paul. That is who he is: Father, Savior, Healer, Provider. Be insistent and tireless in seeking his presence and his help in the midst of your distress. Take him at his word. He promises to hear you when you cry out to him. He will always answer, though perhaps not as you expect, and he will sustain you, just as he sustained St. Paul.

“Father, I believe you hear my prayers and know my needs. Help me today so that I don’t sink under the weight of my troubles.”

2 Corinthians 11:18, 21-30
Mathew 6:19-23
Psalm 34:2-7


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