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  • Eric Kampmann

Call Upon Me

See Psalm 50:15

Who hasn’t experienced trouble? Who hasn’t been at the end of their rope? Job tells us “man is born to trouble” (Job 5:7), which runs contrary to the fantasy that life is a pathway to a series of peak experiences on the stairway to the executive suite. The truth is that “in this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33).

When trouble came my way, I was only vaguely aware of the severity of the coming storm. I assured myself that I could navigate to a safe harbor. Yet the storm only intensified, and I found myself overcome by the waves of the sea and blown and tossed by the wind ( James 1:6). Like Jonah, “The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me . . . to the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth barred me in forever” ( Jonah 2:5–6). But before the storm could destroy him, Jonah says that “in my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry” ( Jonah 2:2).

In my own time of impending trouble, all the usual answers proved to be empty. And so when all options seemed to be exhausted and all doors closed, I turned to the Lord in my desperation, and He delivered me to a safe shore. As undeserving as I am, God graciously reached down and took my hand and saved me.

Twelve years later, I was attending a Christmas Eve service with my family. During the service, the young children of the church handed out little candy canes with an attached handwritten note. When one of the children with the basket came to my row, I at first thought to let the basket pass, but at the last moment, I reached out and took one of the candy canes. The note said this: “‘Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.’” I have kept that little Christmas message in my possession from that day to this. I read it as an affirmation of God’s grace and my gratitude.

—Eric Kampmann, Signposts

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