Psalm 116:1-2 (NIV)
1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. 2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

David, in straits, had humbly and earnestly begged mercy of God, and God had heard him, that is, had graciously accepted his prayer, taken cognizance of his case, and granted him an answer of peace. [Matthew Henry]




Keith Mannes, of Highland Church, preached the following: My wife's aunt Gladys has always had a little apple orchard at her home. But this year when we paid her a visit, I couldn't help but notice the huge harvest of apples. The branches hung heavy, and some were cracking with the weight of abundance. Never, in many years, had anyone seen such a harvest.

When I asked her why, she told me that last year there was a late frost in the spring, and all the buds froze. When that happens, Gladys said, an apple tree does a miraculous thing: It stores up its energy in thousands of small bumps, or nodules, called scions (pronounced "see-ons"). All that energy pulsates through that network of scions until the spring of the following year, and then, BAM! You have an exploding riot of buds, as an apple tree unleashes all that stored up energy.

Gladys' description made me think about our spiritual lives. Sometimes the harsh frosts of this life�cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, trauma, grief, depression�cause our hearts to freeze. But at the core of the Christian faith we also live with an incredible promise: in and through Christ, there will be an abundant harvest in our lives. God's power is pulsating under the gnarly bark of this world and even our bodies. In Christ, we are being formed into a small nodule of living hope. During certain seasons of our life we feel our hearts waiting, longing, and even aching for those frozen places to burst into life. Our living hope is that one day, all of this stored up glory will be unleashed in a joyful riot of splendor.