«Gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise!” (1 Chronicles 16:35, NIV).
I AM SURF that in your progression through this world, you have had moments in which you were not able to satisfy a real and basic need that you had. I also imagine that discouragement entered your heart, like blasts of icy winter, to invade your dreams or directly steal them from you. When you already felt faint, lifeless from pain, Jesus arrived. He brought two things in His hand: peace for the sorrow and a solution to your problem. Then your praise became a song of liberation. This has happened to you, right?
Jesus always arrives when We need Him most. That is what also happened to Ana one rainy afternoon in August. Ana needed a miracle in her life. Raindrops ran down the window of her attic. Her two children slept on the first floor of the house while upstairs, she wept as hard as the downpour. She spoke to God in prayer, saying, «Save me, Lord. Deliver me from this trial if it is possible.» Fatigue and loneliness were wreaking havoc on her. Suddenly, a tarag6n—a bird with a long tail, blue and greenish feathers, and an appearance as majestic as that of a quetzal—looked her directly in the eyes as if it were giving her a message from Jesus: «Don’t worry; if He cares for birds like me, He will also care for you.»
They looked at each other for a while. For Ana, that was a moment when time stood still. Her weeping soon changed into a song of glory, victory, and thanks to God. The penetrating gaze of a simple tarag6n had been the first reply from God to her prayer. second came later on, when the Lord granted total victory over her problem.
We see in the Bible account that the people of God also cried out on many occasions, particularly in the time of exile. In 1 Chronicles 16:35, today’s verse, there are two very interesting phrases: gather us and deliver us. When our soul experiences discouragement, that is what God does for us, and in that order: l) He gathers us, that is, He brings us toward Him as if we were babies needing a powerful arm; and 2) He delivers us as He delivered the Israelites with a strong hand. That is why we cannot but confess His holy name and rejoice in praising Him.