Daily Devotional: Psalms 137:1-9
1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. 2 There on the poplars we hung our harps, 3 for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" 4 How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land? 5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. 6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy. 7 Remember, O LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. "Tear it down," they cried, "tear it down to its foundations!" 8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us—9 he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
As I read the stories of the Bible, I try to imagine myself being a part of what is happening. Think of yourself as a Jew, proud of your nation and of Jerusalem as the city of God. You are special and so is your land. But now the wicked people from Babylon have come in and destroyed your land, burned your city and have taken you captive. While being forced to walk to this foreign land, the soldiers are demanding that you sing your happy patriotic songs of the homeland. All you can remember about that city is that your arch-enemies, the Edomites cheered while your land was being ransacked and burned. How can we sing!?
When we face trials and unfair misfortune today, how can we sing? James tells us to count it as pure joy when we suffer trials. We rejoice in trials because God is with us and has promised to protect us. We rejoice because he will use whatever we face for our good, to build our faith and to help us become more like him.
Lord God, help me trust you enough to turn all my problems over to you and in doing so to find peace and joy in my heart. Help me be strong enough to resist every temptation but if I fail give me a heart of true remorse and penance. Thank you for taking care of me and for constantly watching over me. Thank you for the birds that sing, the beautiful flowers and trees. Thank you for children and I ask your special care and protection over them. Help me know what I can do (and to do it) to help those in Puerto Rico. I pray in the name of Jesus.